The two teams will play in Delhi
Prior to their ICC World Cup opener against South Africa on Saturday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Central Delhi, India, Sri Lanka took a significant hit.
Maheesh Theekshana, the standout spinner for the Islanders, will not play against the Proteas since the 23-year-old is still dealing with a hamstring injury he sustained at the Asia Cup 2023 last month.
Since he was unable to play in the Asia Cup final versus India, Theekshana’s participation in the major tournament has been in question.
The 23-year-old’s injury severely undermines Sri Lanka’s already struggling department, as their star all-rounder, Wanindu Hasaranga, was unable to make the World Cup squad due to a torn hamstring.
Theekshana is one of Sri Lanka’s most valuable bowlers, having taken 44 wickets in just 27 One Day International (ODI) games.
Due to the right-armer’s injury, Sri Lanka now only has three spinners: Dhanjaya de Silva, Dunith Wellalage, and Dushan Hemantha.
On the other hand, their starter Kusal Parera will be making his injury comeback after being forced to leave the pitch during their warm-up game against Bangladesh due to shoulder pain.
Kusal Perera’s record, meanwhile, is something the Islanders can depend on. In the second warm-up game against Afghanistan, the right-handed batter hit a staggering 158 off just 87 balls; his ferocious knock included 19 fours and nine sixes.
Dushmantha Chameera, a 31-year-old fast, will also not be representing Sri Lanka in the World Cup because he was unable to make a full recovery from a damaged pectoral muscle. After clearing fitness tests, Lahiru Kumara and Dilshan Madushanka, who were injured during the Asia Cup, were chosen for the World Cup squad.
Sri Lanka squad for World Cup
Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis (vc), Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushan Hemantha, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka