Sri Lanka Cricket said Herath was named captain although he had retired from the shorter formats of the game. © AFP

Sri Lanka Cricket said Herath was named captain although he had retired from the shorter formats of the game. © AFP

Sri Lanka on Monday (February 27) named Rangana Herath as skipper to replace Angelo Mathews, who was dropped from next week’s two-Test home series against Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka Cricket said Herath was named captain although he had retired from the shorter formats of the game. “He has taken on the challenge of leading the team through the two Test series against the Bangladeshi team,” SLC said in a statement.

The release did not mention why Mathews was dropped from the Test squad, but he returned home last month halfway through the South African tour after twisting his ankle. By then, Sri Lanka had been whitewashed 3-0 in the Test series.

Herath had filled in during Sri Lanka’s tour of Zimbabwe in November, when he led his side to victory in both Tests.

SLC are expected to announce the full squad for the Bangladesh Tests on Tuesday. The first Test begins in Galle on March 7 while the second is in Colombo from March 15.

Sri Lanka have a good record at home and beat Australia 3-0 in the last series they hosted, in August 2016.

Bangladesh, by contrast, have only won three of their 45 Test matches on the road since gaining full status 17 years ago although they have shown recent signs of improvement and beat England in a home Test late last year.

The last series between the two sides in Sri Lanka in 2014 saw the hosts win one of the Tests by 248 runs, while the second ended in a draw.