The 33-year-old, who has played 86 Tests till date, is making a Test comeback after missing last month's South Africa tour with a hamstring injury.
Dhananjaya de Silva, Kasun Rajitha, Santhush Gunathilake and Dilshan Madushanka -- who were all a part of the South African tour -- have been left out.
Meanwhile, the hosts have recalled fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, while also including the likes of Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan and uncapped Ramesh Mendis.
England have returned to Sri Lanka after abandoning this tour in March last year following the outbreak of COVID-19. Both the Tests will be played in Galle behind closed doors.
The two-Test series, beginning Thursday, is part of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.
Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Oshada Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Asitha Fernando, Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Ramesh Mendis