The defending champions of the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka, faced a significant setback as two key players, Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga, have been sidelined due to injuries. Both players will miss the upcoming Asia Cup tournament, which is set to take place in both Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera has been unable to recover from a shoulder injury, which limited his participation to just four matches for B-Love Kandy in the recently concluded Lanka Premier League (LPL). Kasun Rajitha is likely to fill his spot in the tournament; he was one of standby players earlier. This development poses a challenge for Sri Lanka as they prepare to defend their Asia Cup title.
Wanindu Hasaranga’s journey took a valiant turn when he suffered a right hamstring injury during B-Love Kandy’s Eliminator match against Jaffna Kings. Despite the injury, he displayed remarkable resilience by guiding his team into the final with both his batting and bowling performances, all while battling on one leg. Although he couldn’t participate in the final, B-Love Kandy triumphed by defeating Dambulla Aura by five wickets, securing the championship title.
In the Asia Cup context, it is expected that Dushan Hemantha, a right-arm leg-spinner who made his ODI debut against Afghanistan in June this year, will likely step in to replace the injured Hasaranga.
In the 15-member squad led by Dasun Shanaka, there are notable inclusions and comebacks. Kusal Perera, a top-order batsman, has made his return to the ODI side after a two-year absence due to injury. Moreover, all-rounder Dunith Wellalage and fast bowler Lahiru Kumara have earned recalls to the squad.
Sri Lanka’s campaign in the Asia Cup kicks off with their opening match against Bangladesh, scheduled to take place at Pallekele on August 31. Subsequently, they will journey to Lahore for their second match against Afghanistan on September 5. Following this, they will return to Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium to host the remainder of their matches.
Sri Lanka Asia Cup Squad 2023
Dasun Shanaka (captain), Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dushan Hemantha, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana.
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