Sri Lanka name 22-strong Test series touring party

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Sri Lanka have named an expanded 22-man touring squad ahead of their arrival in South Africa for a two-match Test series.

The Proteas will face Sri Lanka in the first Test at Supersport Park in Centurion on Boxing Day while the New Year’s Test has been moved away from the traditional venue of Cape Town to ensure bio-security.

Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur has been in South Africa inspecting facilities after England’s white-ball tour ended in cancellation and allegations of breaches of protocols from both sides. At this stage Arthur appears happy with the arrangements and the tour remains very much on.

Mathews misses out on WTC series against South Africa

Former skipper Angelo Mathews is a notable absence from a squad that includes every player who featured for Sri Lanka in their historic series victory in South Africa in 2019.

Dimuth Karunaratne will continue to skipper Sri Lanka as they play their first cricket since March and first Test since January 2020.

Sri Lanka were among the first cricketing nations to restart their domestic season having avoided the worst of the pandemic thanks to a swift response and the ability to effectively seal the island to outsiders.

They come into this series fresh off the back of a brand-new franchise T20 tournament which saw spinner Wanindu Hasaranga named player of the tournament.

Most of their pace attack have experience of South African conditions with Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha all having played Test cricket here.

Fernando was the leading wicket-taker the last time Sri Lanka visited claiming 12 scalps across the two Tests.

Kusal Perera was the hero of that series with his epic innings at Kingsmead inspiring a memorable victory and humiliating the hosts who had been expected to win at a canter.

Sri Lanka enter this World Test Championship series in sixth place on the table with just one win in four WTC matches. The Proteas are sitting eighth having also won just one match after seven attempts. They were also docked points for a slow over-rate during their series loss to England at the turn of the year. 

Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Oshada Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Minod Bhanuka, Santhush Gunathilaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka

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