Pathum Nissanka latest casualty Limping Lanka prepare for business end of T20 World Cup

Having gone through a nervy first round in Geelong where the cold conditions and the outfield had left a telling effect on the team, the Sri Lankan cricketers arrived in Hobart yesterday to commence the business end of the ICC T20 World Cup – the Super12s where they take on the Group 2 runner-up Ireland on Sunday.

The team left Sri Lanka two weeks ahead of the first-round matches to get acclimatised to the conditions which they will experience in Australia, but for all the preparations, injuries are something that cannot be avoided.

From the original squad that was picked for the World Cup, two key players Dilshan Madushanka and Dushmantha Chameera, both effective fast bowlers have already been ruled out of the tournament with injuries.

While Madushanka who suffered a quadriceps tear has returned home and has been replaced by Binura Fernando, Chameera who was to undergo surgery after the World Cup on a troublesome ankle is staying back in Melbourne to go ahead with the operation.

Chameera in fact was treated with kid gloves by Sri Lanka Cricket wrapping him in cotton wool till the T20 World Cup. But this unexpected injury which he has suffered – a grade 2 tear in the calf of his left foot, has left Sri Lanka without a proper spearhead going into the Super12, although he has been replaced by Kasun Rajitha.

“We definitely miss guys like Chameera, we know he has history of injuries. If you look at the Asia Cup, we went without both of them Lahiru Kumara and Chameera. It’s a good opportunity for the other young guys who are coming in to show their capabilities,” said Sri Lanka team manager Mahinda Halangoda.

“In Chameera’s absence we have Lahiru Kumara, a fast bowler who can replace him. He has the pace similar to Chameera but of course the height and bounce will be different. Lahiru has played at the highest level so he should be able to take Chameera’s place.

“Then we have Binura another experienced cricketer who has played a lot of cricket. Only thing is you cannot expect him to perform as soon as he comes. He came two days before the Netherlands match and had only a day’s practice. It was a tough call.”

Halangoda said that both Promod Madushan and Danushka Gunathilaka who suffered hamstring injuries should be fit for the future matches.

“Promod Madushan’s is not a serious injury he should recover within 2-3 days and Danushka Gunathilaka is also recovering but we have done a small change where he has been moved to the 17 and we have brought in Ashen Bandara into the 15. Danushka is able to walk but needs a little time.”

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