COLOMBO - Sri Lanka gave a glimpse of the squad that could be travelling to the World Cup by announcing a 16-member contingent for the seven-match One-Day International series against New Zealand, starting on January 11 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

The Angelo Mathews-led side welcomes back Lasith Malinga despite concerns over the pacer’s fitness. A Sri Lanka Cricket release on Tuesday (December 30) said Malinga’s availability was subject to fitness. Malinga’s last competitive game was a One-Day International against Pakistan on August 30, after which he went arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle.

Marvan Atapattu, the Sri Lanka coach, had insisted earlier this month that Malinga would be ready to bowl in the latter half of the series. Kusal Perera was the only regular face left out of the squad. The opener has not been in the best of nicks. Apart from that, the team wears a familiar look with Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal forming the rest of the batting unit along with Mathews. Thisara Perera and Jeevan Mendis lend meat to the lower middle order.

The pace attack is likely to be led by Nuwan Kulasekara, who was left out of the home series against England, for the first half of the series in the absence of Malinga. The other pacers in the squad are Dhammika Prasad, Suranga Lakmal and Shaminda Eranga.

Sri Lanka have also included three full-time spinners — Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake and Mendis — in the squad. Most players from the ODI squad are currently part of the Test series underway in Zealand. New Zealand won the first Test to go up 1-0 in the two-Test series. The second Test starts on January 3 in Wellington.

Following the one-day series, Sri Lanka will face South Africa and Zimbabwe in warm-up ties before taking on New Zealand in their first World Cup tie. Sri Lanka will need to announce their final 15 for the World Cup by January 7.

SQUAD: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Shaminda Eranga.