Sri Lanka are holding out hope that star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga can still play a role during the upcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
Hasaranga is still battling the hamstring injury he picked up during last month's playoffs of the Lankan Premier League and the 26-year-old sat out Sri Lanka's recent Asia Cup campaign that saw them finish as runner-up.
While Sri Lanka know that time is running out for Hasaranga to prove his fitness prior to their World Cup opener against South Africa in Delhi on October 7, the team are still exploring every avenue to allow the right-armer to feature at the 50-over showcase.
“We are consulting foreign doctors to see whether he needs surgery or not. If he does, he will be out for at least three months. At the moment, the situation is not that great and it’s highly unlikely if he can play the World Cup,” Sri Lanka medical panel head Arjuna de Silva told The Sunday Times newspaper in Sri Lanka.
“Since he is a key weapon in our attack, we are looking at other options to see how best we can get his services at least for important games. All that depends on the opinions of the consultant to whom we are trying to show his reports.”
If Hasaranga was to miss the entire World Cup then the team's bowling stocks would be severely depleted given his capabilities of performing well on the big stage.
Hasaranga was the leading wicket-taker at the two most recent editions of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup and also topped the wicket charts during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe earlier in the year.
Sri Lanka are one of just two teams yet to name their squad for this year's World Cup, with the Asian side and Bangladesh having until September 28 to submit their final group of 15 players to the ICC for the tournament.