Sri Lankan selectors have dropped veteran seamer Lasith Malinga from the One-Day International squad for the five-match series against Pakistan in UAE. Malinga, who has shown indifferent form since making his comeback to the national set-up, had an ordinary series against India at home last month and as a result, has fetched the axe. Former skipper Angelo Mathews, who couldn’t feature in the ongoing Test series due of a calf injury, has failed to recover in time for the ODIs.
Mathews, who has been plagued by calf and hamstring injuries in recent times, faced a fitness test on Monday (October 2). “Angelo is struggling. We thought he will be okay for the ODIs, but on Monday while running he felt the pain again and has been ruled out. It’s a massive loss for us,” a Sri Lanka Cricket spokesman told Cricubzz.
Mathews has a chronic calf injury (right leg) which the doctors have said is incurable and the all-rounder has to manage the injury.
Having missed six months of international cricket early this year, he returned for Champions Trophy but only played as a specialist batsman. After defeat in the ODI series against Zimbabwe, he stepped down as captain. The 30-year-old resumed bowling during the Indian series and was injured during practices during preparation for the Test series against Pakistan.
Middle-order batsman Chamara Kapugedera has been retained in the side while all-rounder Seekkuge Prasanna makes a comeback to the side. Leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay also has been added into the 15 member squad. Test captain Dinesh Chandimal, who was not in the original ODI squad against India, has also been named in the squad.
Fast bowler Dhammika Prasad, who has missed all forms of international cricket for two years due to shoulder surgery was expected to be named in the squad. But he has been given more time to gain full fitness ahead of the away tour to India next month.
Sri Lanka Squad: Upul Tharanga (Captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedera, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Akila Dananjaya and Jeffrey Vandersay.