Sadeera Samarawickrama returns to the Sri Lanka squad for the first Test against Ireland, starting April 16 in Galle. Samarawickrama, who played last of his four Tests in 2017, will have to fight off competition from Nishan Madhuska, who made his bow in Test cricket in New Zealand recently, while Niroshan Dickwella has been dropped.
Samarawickrama made it to Sri Lanka's white-ball squad recently after an excellent Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2022, that saw him scoring 294 runs at 58.80 in nine innings. He averages 37.34 in 78 first-class games since making his debut in 2015.
Oshada Fernando, who was part of the New Zealand tour has been dropped while uncapped leg-spinner Dushan Hemantha has earned his maiden call-up. Pathum Nissanka, who registered scores of 6, 23, 14 and 6 in his last four innings, continues to remain on the sidelines
Prabath Jayasuriya ,Ramesh Mendis and Lasith Embuldeniya will be the frontline spinners for the game. Fast bowlers Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara have been rested, while Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando and the uncapped Milan Rathnayake who was part of the New Zealand will be the pace bowling options for the first Test.
This will be Dimuth Karunaratne's penultimate Test as captain of the side and they will have a strong batting line-up to support him. Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal. The 15-member squad also includes Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Kamindu Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva, making it a powerful batting unit.
Sri Lanka were initially to play two One-Day Internationals (ODI) and one Test against Ireland on this tour, but upon Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) insistence, the two ODIs turned into another Test. The second Test - also set to be played in Galle - will begin from April 24 onwards.
Sri Lanka Test squad for first Test vs Ireland: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Nishan Madushka (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama (wk), Ramesh Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Dushan Hemantha, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Milan Rathnayake