Bangalore: Mahela Jaywardene, Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis were included in Sri Lanka's 30-man preliminary squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, after being rested from the drawn One-Day International series against Bangladesh in March.
The selection committee headed by Sanath Jayasuriya have gone in for a mix of youth and experience in the preliminary squad while rewarding consistent performers in the domestic circuit.
Thilina Kandamby, Farveez Maharoof and Malinga Bandara are back in the national reckoning after good domestic performances. Also in the fray are rookies Ishara Jayaratne and Milinda Siriwardene.
Dilhara Lokuhettige, the right-arm medium pacer who last played for Sri Lanka in a Twenty20 International against Canada in 2008, and Dilruwan Perera, the offspinner who last represented Sri Lanka in November 2011, are also part of the squad. Lokuhettige has been among the wickets in the first-class season while Perera has been in terrific form, picking up 56 wickets in nine matches and scoring 526 runs.
Sri Lanka are placed in Group A for the Champions Trophy, alongside England, Australia and New Zealand. They will open their campaign against New Zealand on June 9. The tournament will start on June 6 with the final scheduled for June 23.
Preliminary Squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Janith Perera, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Kithruwan Vithanage, Angelo Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Thilina Kandamby, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Farveez Maharoof, Chanaka Welegedara, Ishara Jayaratne, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinga Bandara, Seekkuge Prasanna, Sachithra Senanayake.