Skipper Dinesh Chandimal was released from the squad and asked to return to Sri Lanka immediately to regain form in domestic cricket. The Lankan captain just managed 24 runs in two Tests in Australia in a 2-0 series whitewash.
Sri Lanka’s sports minister Harin Fernando flew down to Australia in the aftermath of Lanka’s dismal performance down under.
“The minister of sports Harin Fernando approved the following Sri Lanka Test squad to play in the upcoming series against South Africa. The national selectors have decided to appoint Dimuth Karunaratne as the stand-in captain for the tour,” a Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) media release said on Tuesday.
“They have also released Dinesh Chandimal from his duties as captain and player of the national Test team to play domestic cricket to regain his form and be ready for future international tours,” the release added.
Sri Lanka will play two Tests, five ODIs and 2 T20Is against South Africa with the first Test getting underway in Durban on February 13. Karunaratne returned from hospital in Canberra to score 59 in the second Test. In seven Tests this season, the left-handed opener has scored 446 runs at an average of 31.85 with five half-centuries.
The squad also includes young Angelo Perera, who became the first batsman since 1938 to score two double centuries in a first-class match on Monday. Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella has been named as Karunaratne’s deputy for SA tour.
Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Niroshan Dickwella, (vc) Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohamed Shiraz, Lakshan Sandakan and Lasith Embuldeniya
First Published: February 5, 2019, 4:53 PM IST