Kusal Perera returns for England Tests, Thirimanne left out

Written by Sumit Seth
Dashing left hander Kusal Perera, who was rushed to hospital in Kandy after getting hit on the hand while collecting a Lasith Malinga yorker during Friday’s game, has been recalled for the two test series against touring England, while non performer Lahiru Thirimanne has finally been dropped.
Thirimanne is the only omission from the squad that won 1-0 in Zimbabwe in January. He did not play any part in that series, and last played in the series against New Zealand in August 2019.
Perera had been left out for the tour of Zimbabwe earlier this year. That completed a strange year for him in the format, after he had played one of the great Test innings of all time in Durban in February 2019. His last Test outing was against New Zealand in August 2019, a series in which he managed scores of 1, 23, 0 and 0. He was subsequently left out for the Pakistan Tests and also didn’t feature in the squad for the Zimbabwe series.

The 30-year old Thirimanne, despite being in the squad, didn’t play the Tests against Zimbabwe with Sri Lanka preferring Oshada Fernando to partner skipper Dimuth Karunaratne at the top of the order.

The SLC, on Monday (March 9), also announced that they will name a replacement player for Wanindu Hasaranga before the first Test against England, which starts on March 19 in Galle. The second Test will be played from March 27 at the SSC in Colombo.

Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Wanindu Hasaranga (injured, replacement to be named before first Test)

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Sumit Seth