Asia Cup – Sri Lanka to be without Dushmatha Chameera – Wanindu Hasaranga a doubt too

Sri Lanka will almost certainly be without Dushmantha Chameera for the entirety of the Asia Cup, and appear unlikely to have Wanindu Hasaranga in their XI for the group stage either.

Meanwhile, Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando – who were likely to make the Asia Cup squad – have tested positive for Covid-19, and are now under observation. Their inclusion depends on the speed of their recovery.

Chameera picked up a shoulder injury during the course of the recent Lanka Premier League (LPL), just as he coming back after an ankle surgery. He last played an ODI on June 7, when he took 4 for 63 against Afghanistan, but did not feature in any official matches in the ODI World Cup qualifier, having injured himself during the warm-ups for that tournament.

Sri Lanka team manager Mahinda Halangoda told ESPNcricinfo that Chameera is likely to be ruled out of the Asia Cup, though the board is waiting on further reports to confirm this.

Hasaranga missed the LPL final with a thigh strain. According to his management, Hasaranga seems unlikely to be fit for Sri Lanka’s matches against Bangladesh and Afghanistan (in the group stage of the Asia Cup). And if Sri Lanka make it out of the group stage, Hasaranga’s availability will depend on whether he can play without risk of further injury.

Sri Lanka are intent on having Hasaranga available for the World Cup and, as such, will be conservative with his reintroduction to top-flight cricket. This is also the case with Chameera – Sri Lanka’s first-choice pace spearhead when fit.

It was only after developing symptoms, Halangoda said, that Perera and Fernando were directed to take Covid-19 tests. They are believed to have picked up the virus during the late stages of the LPL, and will have to return negative test results before they can become available.

Fernando has not played an ODI since January, mostly due to injury. Perera has not played an ODI since 2021, due to both injury and modest form.

The injury to Hasaranga is an especially harsh blow to Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup chances. He was in excellent form in the LPL, topping both wicket-taking and run-making charts. While Sri Lanka have managed their attack without Chameera – who has often been replaced by Dilshan Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando – they do not have a tested replacement for Hasaranga.

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