After Dushamantha Chameera was ruled out of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, yet another Sri Lankan pacer has been ruled out of the tournament.
Sri Lanka have been dealt with yet another injury blow with Lahiru Kumara ruled out of the tournament due to a side strain he suffered during the Netherlands match. The uncapped Sahan Arachchige has been named as Kumara's replacement.
Arachchige was one of the three stand-by players flown to Zimbabwe after the Qualifier began to cover for injuries along with Dilshan Madushanka and Dunith Wellalage. The 27-year-old is a left-hand top-order batter and an occasional right-arm off-break bowler.
Having spent more than eight years grinding it out in the domestic circuit, Arachchige has scored 1454 runs at an average of 29.67 in 66 List-A games while also picking up 38 wickets.
Sri Lanka's pace attack is currently running light on experience with their two most experienced pacers – Kumara and Chameera – ruled out within a few days. Chameera was included in the squad initially but did not feature in any of the Qualifier games. The 31-year-old failed to recover from a shoulder injury and had to fly back home for rehabilitation.
The latest injury to Kumara could open the doors of opportunity for Matheesha Pathirana. The promising pacer has featured in just one ODI in his fledgling cricketing career but is coming off an incredible season in the Indian Premier League with the title-winning Chennai Super Kings.
If Sri Lanka choose to go for experience for the rest of the tournament, they could choose between Kasun Rajitha and Chamika Karunaratne.
The latest string of injuries is unlikely to hamper Sri Lanka's chances in the Qualifier. The Islanders are currently sitting comfortably at the top of the Super Six table after their narrow win over Netherlands and have one foot in the Cricket World Cup later this year in India.
The Dasun Shanaka-led team also have an incredible pool of spin bowlers leading the attack, led by the wily Wanindu Hasaranga and the mysterious Maheesh Theekshana, who will undoubtedly fill the void the veteran pacers.
Updated squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis (vc & wk), Dimuth Karunaratne, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama (wk), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Sahan Arachchige, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Dushan Hemantha, Dilshan Madushanka.