Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka allrounder, has been ruled out of the first Test against England with a calf injury that has quickened speculation that his ability to bowl at international level is now open to serious doubt.
The assertion by Ashantha de Mel, Sri Lanka's chief selector, that Mathews faces a potential future as a specialist batsman will come as a shock to a side that has only a couple of days to regroup ahead of the Galle Test after rushing back home from the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
Mathews failed a fitness test on his injured calf on Friday morning. The injury kept him out of the Asia Cup and the finals of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series. Chamara Silva, a middle-order batsman, who made a magnificent century against England for the Sri Lanka Development XI earlier this week, replaces Mathews in the squad. Thilan Samaraweera takes over Mathews' role of vice-captain to Mahela Jayawardena.