Sri Lanka Tuesday named a 15-member squad for the two-match Test series in Zimbabwe, the first in the African nation since its suspension was lifted by the ICC.
Suranga Lakmal made a return to the squad after missing out on the historic tour of Pakistan due to dengue. Swashbuckling batsman Kusal Perera has been dropped from the squad with ESPNCricinfo reporting that coach Mickey Arthur wanted the player to stay back in Sri Lanka and prepare for upcoming white-ball series.
Both Tests will be held in Harare, the first from Sunday and the second starting on January 27th, Sri Lanka’s cricket board said.
Zimbabwe last played a Test match in November 2018 when they toured Bangladesh and they were barred from ICC events in July last year because of political interference but was readmitted by the International Cricket Council three months later.
Political turmoil within the sport and a string of humiliating performances led Zimbabwe to suspend their Test involvement in 2005, although they continued to play one-day internationals and Twenty20 internationals.
They returned to Test cricket in 2011 but are languishing in 11th place in the rankings, one ahead of Ireland.
Sixth-ranked Sri Lanka last month became the first nation to tour Pakistan since 2009.
Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan and Suranga Lakmal.