Kusal Perera ruled out of Bangladesh T20Is due to 'respiratory infection', Niroshan Dickwella returns

England v Sri Lanka - 1st ODI
Kusal Perera played just one T20I against Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batter Kusal Perera has been ruled out of the upcoming three-match T20I series against Bangladesh due to a "respiratory infection".

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have announced Niroshan Dickwella as Perera's replacement. The 30-year-old last played white-ball cricket for Sri Lanka in June 2022, while his last T20I came a year before that against England in Southampton. He recently scored consecutive 50s in the National Super League limited-overs tournament.

The SLC said in a statement:

"Kusal Janith Perera, who was included in the T20I squad, will not take part in the series as he is suffering from a respiratory infection. Perera did not join the team, which left for Bangladesh yesterday."
"The Cricket Selection Committee has named Niroshan Dickwella in place of Kusal Janith Perera. Dickwella will join the team tomorrow."

Perera played just the final of the three T20Is against Afghanistan, where he got out for a duck. Sri Lanka went on to claim the series 2-1.

T20I has been Dickwella's weakest format as he was dropped on poor form following Sri Lanka's tour of England in 2021. He has 480 runs from 27 innings at an average of 18.46 and a strike rate of 131.14.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that opener Pathum Nissanka would also miss the series due to a hamstring issue. Avishka Fernando took his place.

Leg-spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga has been named as captain for the series. Hasaranga will, however, miss the first two matches due to the ban imposed on him for openly criticizing the umpiring following the last T20I against Afghanistan. Senior batting all-rounder Charith Asalanka will take the captaincy armband in his absence.

The first T20I will be played on Monday, March 4 at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.


Sri Lanka's updated T20I squad without Kusal Perera

Wanindu Hasaranga (C), Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kamindu Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, Binura Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay and Dilshan Madushanka.

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