Young left-arm seamer Dilshan Madushanka has been added to Sri Lanka's World Cup qualifier squad as fellow pacer Dushmantha Chameera has been ruled out of the tournament due to injury. Madushanka was one of the three standby players named by Sri Lanka along with Dunith Wellalage and Sahan Arachchige.
Chameera could only partake in the warm-up matches in Zimbabwe ahead of the group stage before sustaining an injury during a training session. In his absence, the pace attack has been led by Lahiru Kumara, Matheesha Pathirana and Kasun Rajitha, with skipper Dasun Shanaka chipping in with some overs as well.
Sri Lanka have not had the luxury of using their premier pacer for a while now. Chameera had previously suffered a serious calf injury at the T20 World Cup 2022 and was out of action for a significant period.
Since the qualifying group stage of the T20 World Cup in Australia last year, he has played just a handful of domestic matches and a couple of ODIs in the home series against Afghanistan.
Madushanka, who made a serious impression through his debut campaign at the 2022 Asia Cup in Dubai, comes on the back of some promising displays for Sri Lanka A. The 22-year-old took four wickets across two innings in his most recent match against South Africa A in Pallekele.
He made his ODI debut during the away series against India in January 2023, which was cut short due to an injury while fielding. Since then, he has only played one more ODI, which came against New Zealand in March. He has claimed two wickets at an economy rate of 7.21.
Sri Lanka scheduled to take on Netherlands on June 30 to begin their Super Six campaign
The Dasun Shanaka-led side have had smooth sailing in the World Cup Qualifiers so far. The side are on a solid unbeaten run after finishing with eight points in the group stage.
They will begin their Super Six stage with a clash against the Netherlands on Friday, June 30, at the Queen's Sports Club. The top two teams from the Super Six stage will qualify for the showpiece event in India in October-November.
Will Sri Lanka make a winning start to the Super Six stage and move closer to World Cup qualification? Let us know what you think.