Sri Lanka cricket team’s push for a semi-final berth at the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 took another turn on Sunday after inform pacer Lahiru Kumara was ruled out for the rest of the tournament.
Ahead of Sri Lanka’s crucial clash against Afghanistan at MCA International Stadium in Pune, Kumara hurt his left thigh during training on Monday and has been replaced in the squad by fellow pacer Dushmantha Chameera.
Chameera’s inclusion was approved by the Event Technical Committee and the experienced right-armer could come into contention to replace Kumara for that crucial match against Afghanistan.
“The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 has approved Dushmantha Chameera as a replacement for Lahiru Kumara in the Sri Lanka squad,” the ICC said in a statement.
Notably, the replacement of a player requires the approval of the Event Technical Committee before the player can be officially added to the squad.
While Chameera has plenty of experience for Sri Lanka with more than 100 matches for his country, the loss of Kumara will be felt after he played a key role in their victory over England in Bengaluru on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Kumara picked up the key wickets of England skipper Jos Buttler and all-rounders Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone during Sri Lanka’s eight-wicket win and has picked five scalps for his country through four appearances at the tournament.
Chameera’s addition means Sri Lanka have now added a total of three members into their 15-player squad since the start of the tournament, with Chamika Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews having already found a way into the group following the loss of skipper Dasun Shanaka (quad) and Matheesha Pathirana (shoulder) previously.
Sri Lanka currently have two wins from five matches at the ongoing World Cup and sit in fifth place on the standings with four group matches remaining.
Sri Lanka squad: Kusal Mendis (c), Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Angelo Mathews, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushan Hemantha, Chamika Karunaratne.