Middle-order batsman Jehan Mubarak has been recalled to the Sri Lanka Test squad for the three-Test series against Pakistan starting at Galle on June 17.
Mubarak 34 played the last of his 10 Tests eight years ago against England at the SSC in 2007.
The southpaw made a strong case for inclusion by scoring 1000 first-class runs in 2014-15 domestic season for NCC and caught the eye of former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes with his fielding.
Rhodes who was in Sri Lanka for a 10-day coaching stint was highly impressed by Mubarak’s fielding when he worked with the Sri Lanka national team.
“Mubarak for me is a guy who will be very, very useful in the gully or backward point area in Test cricket,” Rhodes said. “He’s only 6 foot 2 I think, but his arms make him about 6 feet 7. Too often taller players stand there and move their arms, but Mubarak can move as well and that’s key. “
The 16-man squad also included three young players in off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal who made his Test debut in the series in New Zealand last December, and uncapped fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera and batsman Kusal Perera, who has forced himself into the Test squad with some outstanding batting against Pakistan ‘A’ where he averaged over 150 in the longer and shorter formats.
Fast bowler Shaminda Eranga was not considered because of a back injury while Suranga Lakmal’s inclusion will depend on his recovery from a strained groin.
There was no place for veteran wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene and young Niroshan Dickwella who has recovered from an injury.
The wicket-keeping gloves will be taken by Dinesh Chandimal.
The second Test is scheduled at the P Sara Oval from June 25 and the third at Pallekele from July 3.
Sri Lanka squad for Test series against Pakistan: Angelo Mathews (captain), Lahiru Thirimanna (vice-captain), Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Kithuruwan Vithanage, Jehan Mubarak, Kusal Perera, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Tharindu Kaushal, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhammika Prasad, Dushmantha Chameera, Suranga Lakmal (subject to fitness).