Sri Lanka add Samaraweera for S. Africa tour

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Mar 5, 2010
COLOMBO: Seasoned batsman Thilan Samaraweera was on Tuesday added to Sri Lanka's squad for next month's Test series in South Africa.

The 35-year-old middle-order batsman was included as the 17th member of the touring squad after sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage accepted a request by the selectors.

"I had a meeting with the national selectors and I have approved their request," the minister, whose approval in necessary for all selections, told reporters.

Samaraweera, who has scored 4,683 runs in 68 Tests at an average of 52.61 with 12 centuries, had been overlooked since the third Test against Australia in Colombo in September.

He was a surprise omission for the recent tour of the United Arab Emirates where Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan in all three formats of the game.

Sri Lanka play a practice match in Benoni from December 9-11 before the first Test starts at the Centurion on December 15. The remaining Tests will be held in Durban and Cape Town.