Sri Lanka's swashbuckling opening batsman Kusal Perera could be ruled out of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 because of a hamstring injury. The southpaw sustained the injury while batting in the final T20I fixture of the recently-concluded Sri Lanka-South Africa series.
Team physician Daminda Attanayake confirmed the same in his conversation with ESPNcricinfo. He revealed that such injuries are most commonly sustained while running between the wickets. Given the nature of the damage, Attanayake further stated that rapid recovery is not an option and said:
"The injury is a sprinter's injury, which can be picked up while running between the wickets. Because of the nature of the injury, we can't do a fast rehabilitation."
Kusal Perera proved to be Sri Lanka's lone-warrior with his fighting knock of 39 in the 3rd T20I against South Africa as the hosts could only manage to post a paltry total of 120 after electing to bat first. However, the wicketkeeper-batsman appeared to be in discomfort during his stay at the crease because of the injury.
The left-hander's absence could further jeopardize Sri Lanka's chances as they are required to power their way through the qualifying round in order to progress to the Super 12s. The Dasun Shanaka-led side will open their campaign on October 18 with their match against Namibia.
Sri Lanka squad for T20 World Cup 2021
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced their 15-member squad for the showpiece event earlier this month. Veteran batsman Dinesh Chandimal has made a comeback to the T20I side. Dasun Shanaka will lead the team in the tournament while Dhananjaya de Silva will be his deputy.
Sri Lanka squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kamindu Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lahiru Madushanka, Maheesh Theekshana
Reserves: Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Pulina Tharanga