Indications are that the Lankan champion speedster Lasith Malinga on whom a lot of World Cup fortunes were pinned on may become a non-starter.
Malinga who was made immobile with an ankle injury on his left foot was on a encouraging recovery programme, but, the latest indications are that the bowler would definitely miss the last two internationals in New Zealand and may be the World Cup too.
Selection Committee Chairman Sanath Jayasuriya is a worried man.
He said “We have a lot of worrying injuries in our bowling department. Lasith Malinga has not recovered and he will miss even the last two ODI’s against New Zealand and the injury may carry well into the World Cup too.”
“ Then the other fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep is also injured and he would be out of action for at least 2-3 weeks. Suranga Lakmal has a niggle and we have to be very careful of the situation and on top of that we had to hold back Rangana Herath from today’s (yesterday) game because of the dicey situation. Going in for an important fixture like the World Cup this is not the ideal situation in which to be”.
Jayasuriya then added that he would be sending in a replacement fast bowler within the next few days.
“We are looking at either Lahiru Gamage or Dushmantha Chameera. However as Chameera had a good spell in the only outing he had in New Zealand with the Test outfit, the chance of Chameera making the trip is more realistic”.
With opener Dimuth Karunaratne falling behind expectations in the games played so far the Lankan selectors said they could change the composition of the 15-member squad declared to the ICC.
This question was asked from the SLC CEP Ashley De Silva on an earlier occasion.
De Silva said in answer that there was provision to make changes to the declared fifteen before February 6.
“According to the MPA (Members’ Participating Agreement), players listed in the declared fifteen could be changed before February 6, 2015 – the date on which the ICC would take over the custody of the participants of the 2015 World Cup officially. Thereafter if any participating member needs to change players they would have to make an official request to the technical committee of the ICC and obtain their approval”.
However the Lankan Selection Committee Chairman Jayasuriya said that the selectors were so far satisfied with the South Paw opener.
Jayasuriya said “In the second ODI Karunaratne batted for fifteen overs and put on a 64 run stand for the first wicket. That took away a lot of pressure from the other batsmen. I feel that we should keep looking at him batting in this slot for the time being”.