The Event Technical Committee of the ICC World Cup 2023 on Tuesday approved veteran Angelo Mathews as a replacement for fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana in the Sri Lanka squad.
Pathirana has not recovered from a shoulder injury, and the selectors have called time on his involvement in the remainder of the tournament.
“Mathews, who has played 221 ODIs, was named as a replacement after Pathirana failed to recover from a shoulder injury sustained during a warm-up match and was subsequently ruled out of the tournament,” the ICC said in a statement.
Notably, the replacement of a player requires the approval of the Event Technical Committee before the replacement player can be officially added to the squad.
The 20-year-old-Pathirana played in Sri Lanka’s matches against South Africa and Pakistan, but was not able to bowl to his full ability, conceding 185 runs across the two matches.
His replacement the 35-year-old Mathews has a wealth of experience, having played 221 ODIs for Sri Lanka in his lengthy career. An first-XI call-up in India would mean that Mathews has featured in each of the last four ODI World Cups, following appearances in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Mathews brings a very different skill-set to that of strike-bowler Pathirana, whose continued absence will be keenly felt by a squad beset by injuries.
Earlier, key bowler Wanindu Hasaranga suffered an injury prior to the World Cup that ruled him out of Sri Lanka’s entire campaign. On the other hand, Dushmantha Chameera was only named as a reserve as he too struggled with injuries.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka was ruled out of the tournament with a torn quadricep, to be replaced by Chamika Krunaratne.
Sri Lanka will hope for some better performances from their players when they face England in their next match in Bengaluru on Thursday.