Sri Lanka adds third new player to World Cup squad after injury to in-form speedster
Sri Lanka's quest for a semi-final spot in the ongoing 2023 ODI World Cup has encountered a setback 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 prior to Sri Lanka's crucial encounter against Afghanistan at MCA International Stadium on Monday. He has been replaced in the squad by fellow pacer Dushmantha Chameera.
Chameera's inclusion was sanctioned by the Event Technical Committee on Sunday. The seasoned right-arm bowler is a potential candidate to take over Kumara's role in the pivotal match against Afghanistan.
With Chameera's inclusion, Sri Lanka has now made three changes to their 15-player squad since the commencement of the tournament. Chamika Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews had previously been brought in following the injuries to skipper Dasun Shanaka (quad) and Matheesha Pathirana (shoulder).
Lahiru Kumara played an instrumental role in Sri Lanka's win over England
Although Chameera brings a wealth of experience to the Sri Lankan side, boasting more than 100 appearances for his country, Kumara's absence will be keenly felt, especially considering his instrumental role in their surprising victory over England in Bengaluru last Thursday.
In that match, Kumara claimed the crucial wickets of England's captain Jos Buttler, as well as key all-rounders Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone and contributed significantly to Sri Lanka's eight-wicket triumph. He has amassed a total of five wickets for his country across four appearances in the tournament.
Presently, Sri Lanka has two victories from five outings in the World Cup and occupies the fifth position in the standings, with four group matches remaining to be played.