Colombo - Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews was Saturday ruled
out of next month's two-Test home series against Bangladesh as selectors
prepared to field a "formidable team".
The 29-year-old all-rounder, however, was "likely to be
available" for the three one-day internationals and the two Twenty20
matches of the series starting with the first Test on March 7 at Galle, the Sri
Lankan cricket board said in a statement.
"The National Selections Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket
is set to meet on Tuesday to decide on a formidable team that would play the
first two Test matches.
"Accordingly, it has been announced that Angelo Mathews
will not be able to play the first two test matches," the board said.
It did not say why Mathews was dropped from the Test squad,
but he returned home last month half way through the South African tour after
twisting his ankle.
Under his leadership, Sri Lanka suffered a 3-0 Test series
whitewash against South Africa.
He was also left out of the just concluded three-match T20
series Sri Lanka won 2-1 against Australia.
"Despite his absence, the selections committee is
confident that the lessons learnt from the South African series will help in
putting together a formidable young team to take on the first two matches
against the Bangladesh team," the board said.
Sri Lanka has a good record at home and beat Australia 3-0
in the last series that they hosted in August 2016.
Bangladesh by contrast have only won three of their Test
matches on the road since gaining full status 17 years ago although they have
shown recent signs of improvement and beat England in a home Test late last
The last series between the two sides in Sri Lanka in 2014
saw the hosts win one of the Tests by 248 runs while the second was a draw.