Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Angelo Mathews
Mathews last featured in a T20 match in Colombo against the visiting Proteas side last year. @ AFP

Nine players, who featured in the Sri Lanka squad for the Twenty20 International series against South Africa early this year, have been dropped for the three-match series against New Zealand after the 15-man squad was announced on Saturday.

Lasith Malinga will continue to captain the T20I team while Niroshan Dickwella has been named his deputy.

Notable among the omissions are former captain Angelo Mathews and allrounder Thisara Perera. Dhananjaya de Silva and Suranga Lakmal have also been left out.

Perera played his last T20 against South Africa in March at Johannesburg. Mathews last featured in a T20 match in Colombo against the visiting Proteas side last year.

Danushka Gunathilaka, who last played an international game for Sri Lanka in January 2019, returns. Kusal Perera, who picked up a hamstring injury that forced him to sit out of the South Africa T20I series, comes back along with Lahiru Kumara.

Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kasun Rajitha, and Lahiru Madushanka also make the cut while Angelo Perera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Priyamal Perera and Asitha Fernando are the others to miss out.

The three-match T20I series gets underway from September 1, with all games to be played in Pallekele.

Sri Lanka squad: Lasith Malinga (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Janith Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Lahiru Madushanka