With an eye on the World Cup, Sri Lankan selectors have named a 20-member squad for the two-Test series against South Africa and the following tri-series, also involving India.
The selectors made two changes in the side that recently crushed England 5-0 in a one-day series, leaving out Jehan Mubarak and Nuwan Kulasekara.
Coming in their places were Rangana Herath and Marvan Atapattu, who was picked despite the fact that he would not play any role in the team's two assignments.
Ashantha de Mel, the chairman of selectors, said that the squad of 20 was selected with the 2007 World Cup in mind.
"We think this will be the nucleus of players from which the final 14 will be selected for the World Cup," said de Mel.
"That is why we have included Atapattu even though he is not available for the Test and one-day series. There maybe a few changes to the squad as we go along," he was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.
De Mel said in absence of Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardene will be asked to continue as captain for the Test and one-day series next month.
Squad: Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Russel Arnold, Marvan Atapattu, Michael Vandort, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Ruchira Perera, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Malinga Bandara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Zoysa, Prasanna Jayawardene.