Colombo - Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews pulled out of the Zimbabwe tour later this month, joining his deputy Dinesh Chandimal who is also staying away because of injury, officials said on Sunday.
"Sri Lanka Cricket is pleased to announce that veteran spinner Rangana Herath will lead the Sri Lanka team in the two Test series against Zimbabwe commencing October 29 in Harare," a statement said.
It did not say why Mathews pulled out, but official sources said a recurring calf muscle injury forced him to rest ahead of the three-Test tour of South Africa starting late December.
Vice-captain Chandimal was omitted from a 15-man squad on Friday allowing him more time to recover from a thumb injury he sustained during a domestic match last month.
There are three new faces in the squad for Zimbabwe - fast bowlers Kasun Madushanka and Lahiru Kumara and all-rounder Asela Gunaratne.
The first Test begins on October 29 in Harare while the second is scheduled from November 6 at the same venue.