Colombo - Seasoned batsman Thilan Samaraweera was on Tuesday added to Sri Lanka's squad for next month's Test series in South Africa.
The 35-year-old middle-order batsman was included as the 17th member of the touring squad after sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage accepted a request by the selectors.
"I had a meeting with the national selectors and I have approved their request," the minister, whose approval in necessary for all selections, told reporters.
Samaraweera, who has scored 4 683 runs in 68 Tests at an average of 52.61 with 12 centuries, had been overlooked since the third Test against Australia in Colombo in September.
He was a surprise omission for the recent tour of the United Arab Emirates where Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan in all three formats of the game.
Sri Lanka play a practice match in Benoni from December 9-11 before the first Test starts at the Centurion on December 15. The remaining Tests will be held in Durban and Cape Town.
Sri Lanka's revised Test squad:
Tillakaratne Dilshan (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Chanaka Welegedara, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath, Thilan Samaraweera