Michael Carberry "fully deserves" his chance after being called up to England's limited-overs squads, according to National Selector James Whitaker.
The Hampshire opener was the surprise name in both the one-day international and Twenty20 squads to face Sri Lanka.
England will play one T20 international and five ODIs against the tourists, though the ODI squad is for the first three matches only.
Carberry played in all five Ashes Tests over the summer but made no secret of his disappointment at being overlooked by former ODI coach Ashley Giles in the shorter formats.
Whitaker told Sky Sports News: "Michael Carberry deserves his chance. He was very close to a place in the Twenty20 squad for the World Cup. He has been a consistent performer for Hampshire in Twenty20 cricket and one-day cricket in the last few years.
"So he fully deserves his chance and we look forward to seeing him in the opportunities he is going to get."
Ian Bell is recalled to the T20 squad, despite having not played in that format for England for three years.
Whitaker said: "Ian Bell has been in and around that Twenty20 squad before even though he has played a limited amount of games. With his experience he can offer some top order presence. So we look forward to seeing him on the stage, exhibiting his skills."
Middlesex's Eoin Morgan - who passed up the chance to play in the Indian Premier League in order to win back his Test place - is another man in form for his county. He will captain the T20 team in the continued absence of the injured Stuart Broad.
Whitaker said: "Eoin has had some experience of Test match cricket and what's really great to see is how he has committed himself to Middlesex this season. Eoin has a good chance, of course he has, as do a number of players. Weight of runs will certainly help his case," he said.
England have made no secret of their desire to have a left-arm seamer in their armoury, and Whitaker says Nottinghamshire's Gurney is the man in the possession.
"Harry has pushed his way to the top of the pile at the moment. He's got a good domestic record. His economy rate is very good in all forms of cricket. He's the kind of character we like and we had a good look at him over the winter in and around the Test match squad and in the West Indies," he said.
Moeen Ali keeps his T20 place but is dropped from the ODI squad. Whitaker hinted that the Worcestershire star is perhaps being lined up for the Tests.
"Moeen has started the season well for Worcestershire. We are monitoring him closely for the longer game but for now we like our balance we've got for Sri Lanka," he said.
Surrey fast bowler Jade Dernbach and Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright, who were both in the World Twenty20 squad earlier this year, were omitted but Whitaker says they can force their way back in to the squad.
"I always say to the players that the door is open. We haven't had any domestic ODI cricket this year but we've got the domestic T20 season about to start and we'll monitor their form," he said.
"What we want to see from England is some character. There's a rebuilding process going on and we want some wins. It's going to be a competitive series."
England T20 squad v Sri Lanka: Morgan, M Ali, Bell, Bopara, Bresnan, Buttler, Carberry, Gurney, Hales, Jordan, Root, Tredwell, Woakes
England ODI squad v Sri Lanka: Cook, Anderson, Ballance, Bell, Bopara, Bresnan, Buttler, Carberry, Gurney, Jordan, Morgan, Root, Tredwell, Woakes
England Twenty20 and ODI fixtures against Sri Lanka:
May 20: Twenty20, The Oval
May 22: 1st ODI, The Oval
May 25: 2nd ODI, Chester-le-Street
May 28: 3rd ODI, Old Trafford
May 31: 4th ODI, Lord's
Jun 03: 5th ODI, Edgbaston
Watch all six games live on Sky Sports