Sri Lanka axe Samaraweera for UAE series

Sri Lanka have left out seasoned batsman Thilan Samaraweera and spinner Ajantha Mendis for next month’s Test series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Samaraweera, who turns 35 today, has been one of Sri Lanka’s most reliable batsmen in recent years with 4,683 runs, including 12 centuries, in 68 Tests at an average of 52.61.

Mendis, 26, has claimed 62 wickets in 16 Tests. Both players were part of the enlarged squad for the recent Test series against Australia, and while Mendis was ignored for all three matches due to a back injury, Samaraweera was dropped for the final game.

The selectors kept faith in 13 members of the squad that lost to Australia on Tuesday and added batsman Dinesh Chandimal, seamer Nuwan Pradeep and reserve wicket-keeper Kaushal Silva for the tour.

The first Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from October 18-22, the second in Dubai from Oct 26-30 and third in Sharjah from November 3 to 7.


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