Three players’ injuries to be assessed


Jeewan Mendis will be assessed today after he sustained a knee injury while sliding during the bilateral series against New Zealand.

by Rex Clementine

Injuries of three players in Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad will be assessed today before deciding whether replacements should be sought from the ICC Technical Committee. All-rounder Jeevan Mendis’ knee injury that he is supposed to have sustained while sliding during the ODI series against New Zealand looks to be the most serious. Fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Dhammika Prasad are the other two players nursing injuries, an official said.

Captain Angelo Mathews, who was down with fever is recovering and has plenty of time to get fit for Sri Lanka’s first warm-up game against South Africa scheduled for February 9th in Christchurch. Sri Lanka’s second warm-up game will be played against Zimbabwe in Lincoln. The World Cup gets underway on St. Valentine’s Day (February 14) as the Sri Lankans play the curtain-raiser against New Zealand in Christchurch. Mathews didn’t play the last three ODIs against New Zealand.

The source said that fast bowler Lasith Malinga too has resumed bowling and is making good progress.

Most players who feature in the World Cup squad have been in New Zealand for more than a month now and will be well prepared for the greatest showpiece in the game. Sri Lanka’s form in recent months has been patchy though having been whitewashed by India 5-0 before losing the seven match series to New Zealand 4-2.

However, once Malinga and Mathews return to the side, the Sri Lankans will be a stronger unit although their fielding looks awful.

A lot of emphasis is expected to be given to fielding as the Sri Lankans have two weeks from now on for their first game in the competition. After the curtain-raiser in Christchurch against New Zealand, they will travel further down in south island to Dunedin where they will take on Afghanistan a week later.

Sri Lanka’s next match is in Australia against Bangladesh at the MCG. Angelo Mathews’ side will return to New Zealand where they will play England in Wellington.

The big match against Australia is scheduled for the 8th March at the SCG while their last game is in Hobart against Scotland. Irrespective of where they finish in Group ‘A’, Sri Lanka will play their quarter-final at SCG.

Sri Lankans have performed exceptionally well in ICC events in recent times. They were the losing semi-finalists to eventual winners Australia in 2003 when South Africa hosted the event while in 2007 and 2011 they were losing finalists to Australia and India respectively.

The World Cup will see former captain Mahela Jayawardene retiring from the game while Kumar Sangakkara will no longer play any ODIs.

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