Maheesh Theekshana and Axar Patel ruled out of Asia Cup 2023 Final tomorrow

Maheesh Theekshana

Sri-Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana and Indian All-rounder Axar Patel have been ruled out of the Asia Cup 2023 Final tomorrow. After 3 weeks of non-stop rain marred Cricketing action, 2 defending champions will battle it out at Colombo for Asian glory ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in October.

Yes, 2 defending champions. While team India won the previous Asia Cup ODI edition last held in 2018, Sri-Lanka won the coveted title last year which was played in the T20 format. It will be a second encounter between them in Asia Cup 2023, having previously met each other in the Super 4 stage.

Rohit Sharma’s side were able to defend a total of 214 runs on 12th September as Sri-Lanka fell short of just 41 runs. When the Lankans play tomorrow in the Finale, they will have revenge on their mind and will look to go an extra mile this time around.

But they will be without key spinner Maheesh Theekshana as he has sustained a grade 3 Hamstring tear during Sri-Lanka’s virtual semi-final tie against Pakistan 2 days ago. His captain Dasun Shanaka stated that the injury is not too serious and Theekshana will be back in time for the ODI world cup next month.

Sources also claimed that the 23-year-old could have been forced inside the playing XI for the Final if the CWC was not near. 27-year-old Top-order Batter Sahan Arachchige has been named as replacement for Theekshana, who will begin rehabiliation process in the coming days.

One of Sri-Lanka cricket’s medical staff stated that he is “clinically” fine and not under much pain. “Clinically Theekshana is okay though. He’s moving around and not feeling too much pain. He’ll definitely be ready for the World Cup. Actually if we didn’t have a World Cup coming up, we would have somehow tried to get him ready for tomorrow’s match.”

Axar Patel on the hand has also been withdrawn from India’s squad after the all-rounder dealt with a blow by ball on his elbow last night in Super 4 fixture against Bangladesh. Washington Sundar has been brought in as his replacement and Axar Patel is expected to head back home.