Sri Lanka’s quest to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has encountered another twist as their in-form fast bowler, Lahiru Kumara, has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.
Kumara sustained a left thigh injury during a training session in Pune, just before Sri Lanka’s crucial match against Afghanistan at the MCA International Stadium. He has been replaced in the squad by fellow pace bowler Dushmantha Chameera. The Event Technical Committee granted approval for Chameera’s inclusion on Sunday, and he is now in contention to fill Kumara’s role in the pivotal match against Afghanistan.
While Chameera brings substantial experience to the Sri Lankan side, having featured in more than 100 matches for his country, the absence of Kumara is a significant loss.
Kumara played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s recent upset victory over England in Bengaluru, where he took the key wickets of England’s captain Jos Buttler, as well as all-rounders Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone, contributing to Sri Lanka’s eight-wicket win. Kumara has accumulated five wickets for his team in four appearances at the tournament.
With Chameera’s inclusion, Sri Lanka has made three changes to their 15-player squad since the start of the tournament, following the earlier additions of Chamika Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews. These additions came in response to the injuries that led to the unavailability of skipper Dasun Shanaka (quad) and Matheesha Pathirana (shoulder).
Sri Lanka currently holds a fifth-place position in the standings, with two wins from five World Cup appearances, and four group matches left to play. The Lankan lions will take on Afghanistan tomorrow before taking on India on November 2.
Their final 2 clashes are against Bangladesh and New Zealand on November 6th and November 9th.