Asia Cup 2023: Sri Lanka Rocked By Injuries And Covid-19 Cases Ahead of Squad Announcement

Published - 26 Aug 2023, 12:02 PM

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka [PC: ICC via Getty Images]

Less than a week is remaining before the Asia Cup 2023 gets underway. The sixteenth edition of the continental championship is scheduled to be played from August 30 to September 17 in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This is the first time that the tournament has been in more than one country.

Pakistan will host four games while Sri Lanka will be the venue for the other nine games including the final. And just a few days before the start of the tournament, Sri Lanka have been rocked by a couple of COVID-19 cases in their camp.

Just ahead of the tournament, the reigning champions have suffered two big blows. Four of their players are now doubtful for the tournament due to injuries and Covid-19. Sri Lanka are one of the only two teams who are yet to announce the squad for the tournament. The other team is Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka rocked by injuries and Covid-19 cases:

Fast bowler Dushamantha Chameera is more than likely to miss the Asia Cup after suffering a shoulder injury during the recently concluded Lanka Premier League (LPL). Leg-spinner and one of Sri Lanka’s biggest players Wanindu Hasaranga is also suffering from a thigh injury. According to ESPNcricinfo, Hasaranga could miss at least two games in Asia Cup 2023.

And as if the injuries were not enough, two players have now tested positive for Covid-19. Batsmen Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando have been tested positive for COVID-19. Both the players are presently under observation and their selection for Asia Cup 2023 will depend on their recovery.

According to the report, the duo picked the Covid-19 symptoms towards the end of the LPL. The report added that they would make it to the Sri Lanka squad only if they returned negative results. Both the players have not played any ODI match in recent times. While Fernando’s last ODI appearance came in January this year, Perera has not played an ODI since 2021.

The defending champions will open their Asia Cup campaign with a match against Bangladesh on August 31 at Pallekele. The Islanders will then travel to Pakistan for their second group game against Afghanistan in Lahore on September 5.

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Asia Cup 2023 Avishka Fernando Kusal Perera Sri Lanka national cricket team Wanindu Hasaranga