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Chandimal returns to Sri Lanka's preliminary squad for New Zealand Tests
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Chandimal returns to Sri Lanka's preliminary squad for New Zealand Tests

Dinesh Chandimal has been brought back into Sri Lanka's national side for the two-match Test series against New Zealand due to commence next week.

The series will mark both teams' first assignment in the World Test Championship, which will eventually decide a winner in the longest format at the end of a two-year cycle in June 2021.

A host of players have been included in Sri Lanka's 22-member preliminary squad announced for the two games giving the team a new outlook from the one that competed in the historic series victory in South Africa earlier this year.

Former captain Chandimal, often seen as a cricketer symbolizing the case of an unfulfilled batting potential, has been rewarded for his prolific run in the domestic circuit to earn a spot in the squad that will be trimmed down to 15 before the series opener.

The 53-Test veteran was dropped from the side after poor returns in Australia where Sri Lanka suffered a whitewash under his leadership.

Chandimal was also excluded from the limited-overs formats failing to get picked for the World Cup in England and Wales that saw Sri Lanka finish sixth in the ten-team table.

The 29-year-old could thus be in line for his first international match in over six months.

Angelo Mathews, who missed out on the South Africa tour due to a hamstring problem, has been inducted into the line-up.

Milinda Siriwardana has been released from the squad that played in South Africa despite not getting a game in Sri Lanka's 2-0 win over the hosts.

Spinners Akila Dananjaya and Dilruwan Perera are also back in contention with their names listed among the 22 probables.

The spotlight will be on Dananjaya in particular, as he returns to Test cricket after being suspended for an illegal action late last year and then made a comeback to the shorter formats by playing most recently in the Bangladesh series with a remodeled action.

Sri Lanka Squad:

Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Perera, Oshada Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando

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