Sri Lanka’s struggles with a list of injuries to leading players continue with seven probables, who could feature in the upcoming tour to the Caribbean, sidelined from the ongoing inter-provincial tournament. Several prominent players including Angelo Mathews and Suranga Lakmal, captains of Kandy and Galle respectively, have already missed two of the three games of the inter-provincial tournament.
While Mathews is recovering from a calf injury that he picked up ahead of the Nidahas Trophy, Lakmal pulled out of Galle’s first game of the inter-provincial tournament with a side strain.
Nuwan Pradeep, who hurt his hamstring during Sri Lanka’s last group game of Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh, needs five weeks to recover while fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera, who picked up a side strain after bowling 11 overs in the first game of the inter-provincial tournament, is undergoing rehabilitation. He will be only able to resume bowling in the nets after three weeks. Fast bowler Shehan Madushanka, who picked up a hat-trick on debut in the tri-nation final in Dhaka, is also recovering from a hamstring injury.
Fast bowlers are not the only ones in the injury list with all-rounder Asela Gunaratne requiring at least three more weeks to recover from an injury to his right arm that he sustained during fielding drills in Bangladesh two months ago.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera, the highest run-getter in the Nidahas Trophy, is also nursing a hamstring injury and has not played any part in the inter-provincial tournament. While Pradeep and Madushanka are ruled out of the tour of West Indies, Chameera is racing against time in order to be fit.
Mathews, Lakmal and Perera are expected to turn up for their respective teams in the last round of inter-provincial tournament next week.
“We have tried to figure out why we have had so many injuries in recent times and we have learned that in the last 16 months, we have played 18% more cricket than any other team,” Graeme Labrooy, Sri Lanka’s chairman of selectors, told Cricbuzz.
“That is one thing and maybe with regards to some players we have rushed them sooner than they were actually ready.”
After frequent injuries, in a bid to raise fitness, Sri Lanka have set minimum fitness standards for players to be considered for selections, but despite that their woes with injuries continue.
Sri Lanka have a hectic schedule over the next ten months where they will play as many as 15 Test matches and at least 20 ODIs. (Course Cricbuss)