Colombo, Oct 24: Veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who was named Sri Lanka skipper for the two-Test series in Zimbabwe in place of the injured Angelo Matthews, is all set to become the oldest person to lead the islanders since leg-spinner Somachandra de Silva in 1983.
The 38-year-old, who retired from limited-overs cricket in April this year to focus on Tests will make his captaincy debut in his 74th match.
He, however, did not captain Sri Lanka in any of the 71 ODIs and 17 T20Is he had played.
Herath's stint at the helm will only be the second time after de Silva when a bowler will lead the Lankans.
The decision to appoint Herath came after both Mathews and his deputy Dinesh Chandimal were ruled out due to injuries.
Mathews had torn his calf during the fourth One-Day International (ODI) against Australia in August and is expected to be out of action for three weeks.
He is doubtful for the tri-series in Zimbabwe, also involving West Indies, that follows the Tests. No replacement has been named yet for Mathews.
Meanwhile, Chandimal, who suffered a thumb injury during a domestic game, will go under the knife.