Sri Lanka suffer blow ahead of England Test as Matthews is ruled out
11:37 GMT, 23 March 2012
Out: Sri Lanka's Angelo Matthews
Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews has failed a fitness test and was left out of the 14-man squad picked for the first Test against England in Galle starting on Monday.
Mathews missed the Asia Cup because of a calf injury and selectors picked middle-order batsman Chamara Silva to make up the squad.
'I don't think we can use Mathews as an all-rounder in the future,' said chief selector Ashantha de Mel. 'Mathews has some problem with his legs and it is very unlikely he will bowl much. We have to look at him purely as a batsman.'
Silva scored a magnificent 163 off 180 balls for a Sri Lanka Cricket President's XI in a three-day warm-up match against England which ended on Thursday.
He has been in prolific form during the home first-class season and was the only batsman to top 1,000 runs.
Silva played the last of his 11 Tests for Sri Lanka in April 2008 against West Indies in Port of Spain and has been a regular player in the one-day side ever since.
In Mathews's absence, Thilan Samaraweera has been named vice-captain to Mahela Jayawardene.
In charge: Mahela Jayawardene will captain Sri Lanka against England
SRI LANKA SQUAD
M Jayawardene (c), T Samaraweera (vc), T Dilshan, T Paranavitana, L Thirimanne, K Sangakkara, D Chandimal, P Jayawardene, S Lakmal, D Prasad, C Welegedera, S Randiv, R Herath.
De Mel said Tharanga Paranavitana and Lahiru Thirimanne would have to fight for a place as partner to Tillakaratne Dilshan in the opening pair.
Either Suranga Lakmal or Dhammika Prasad is expected to partner Chanaka Welegedara as a fast bowler while the No 7 spot will be between regular wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene and Dinesh Chandimal who had not kept wicket for some time, De Mel said.
England and Sri Lanka will play a two-Test series with the second scheduled to start in Colombo on April 3.