Geelong (Victoria), Oct 19 (IANS) On the eve of Sri Lanka’s final Group A match in the first round of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup against Netherlands in what is a must-win match to enter the Super 12 stage, the 2014 champions were dealt with double blows as Dushmantha Chameera and Danushka Gunathilaka were ruled out of the competition.
Chameera, who took a brilliant 3/15 in a thumping 79-run win over UAE on Tuesday but did not finish his spell, has been ruled out of the tournament due to a torn left calf muscle. His replacement, pacer Kasun Rajitha is currently in Sri Lanka and will be travelling to Australia as soon as possible.
Chameera had earlier missed Sri Lanka’s victorious Asia Cup 2022 campaign in the UAE due to ankle injury, but was declared fit in time for the Men’s T20 World Cup, where Sri Lanka hoped for him to make crucial strikes in the power-play as well as death overs.
In addition to this, left-handed batter Gunathilaka, who didn’t play in the match against the UAE, is out of the competition due to a left hamstring tear and will be replaced by travelling reserve Ashen Bandara.
The loss of Chameera and Gunathilaka are huge blows for Sri Lanka in both bowling and batting departments. Their bowlers had thoroughly dominated in the match against UAE, dismissing them for just 73 inside 18 overs. But the batting has become a point of concern for Sri Lanka, with them suffering a collapse from 117/3 to post only 152/8 at Kardinia Park.
Sri Lanka are currently placed third in their group with only two points and had earlier lost left-arm pacer Dilshan Madushanka after he sustained a quadriceps tear on the eve of Sri Lanka’s first match of the tournament against Namibia, where they suffered a shock 55-run loss, with Binura Fernando named as his replacement.
Meanwhile, in the UAE squad, the travelling reserve, all-rounder Fahad Nawaz has replaced right-arm bowler Zawar Farid, who has fractured his left foot, which was also approved by the ICC’s Event Technical Committee.
The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 consists of Wasim Khan, ICC General Manager – Cricket (Chair); Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events; Peter Roach, Cricket Australia, Shane Doyle, Men’s T20 World Cup Local Organising Committee; Shaun Pollock (Independent) and Ian Bishop (Independent).