Opening batter Perera doubtful for Sri Lanka’s first game

CRICKET | Skipper Shanaka, meanwhile, is expected to be available for the game against South Africa slated to be played in New Delhi

October 03, 2023 07:40 pm | Updated October 04, 2023 07:51 am IST - Guwahati

Sri Lankan cricketer Kusal Janith Perera in action against Bangladesh at The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on March 31, 2013.

Sri Lankan cricketer Kusal Janith Perera in action against Bangladesh at The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on March 31, 2013. | Photo Credit: AFP

Opening batter Kusal Janith Perera is a doubtful starter while captain Dasun Shanaka is expected to be available for Sri Lanka’s World Cup opener versus South Africa, to be played in New Delhi on Saturday.

Both Perera and Shanaka, who hurt themselves during Sri Lanka’s warm-up tie against Bangladesh here on Friday, were unavailable for its Tuesday’s warm-up match against Afghanistan.

The duo’s unavailability prompted Sri Lanka to release a fitness update through the International Cricket Council. The statement explained that Shaanka strained his left elbow last Friday while Perera experienced pain in his right shoulder during the same match.  

“He is under medical treatment and is in the process of recovery,” was the identical update for both.

The Hindu understands that Shanaka will definitely be available – he was “not stretched unnecessarily” on Tuesday, according to a source. However, Perera is uncertain to recover in time for the opening fixture.

Having undergone a surgery on the same shoulder last year, neither the player nor the team’s medical staff wants to risk his comeback. It may result in Dimuth Karunaratne being persisted with as Pathum Nissanka’s opening partner on Saturday.

The only bright development in the Sri Lankan camp is Maheesh Theekshana will definitely be available for the entire stretch. Since Theekshana was recovering from an injury he suffered during the Asia Cup, he did not travel with the squad last week.

The statement clarified that Theekshana will join the squad in New Delhi on Wednesday.

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