Asia Cup 2023 Hit By Covid Storm Days Ahead Of Start Of Tournament, 2 Sri Lanka Players Test Positive: Report
Cricket

Asia Cup 2023 Hit By Covid Storm Days Ahead Of Start Of Tournament, 2 Sri Lanka Players Test Positive: Report

Defending champion Sri Lanka have incurred a major blow just five days before the start of Asia Cup as four cricketers have were rendered doubtful for the event

The 2023 edition of the Asia Cup is all slated to begin with glitz and glory in Pakistan on August 30 with the host nation going up against qualifier. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka, who are the acting co-hosts of the continental event via the hybrid model enabled to ensure the participation of India, with BCCI not willing to send the team to Pakistan, will host their first match on the following day at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. But ahead of the start of the tournament, Asia Cup has been hit by a Covid storm.

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Defending champion Sri Lanka have incurred a major blow just five days before the start of Asia Cup as four cricketers have were rendered doubtful for the event owing to injuries and Covid-19.

Fast bowler Dushamantha Chameera is all likely to be ruled out of the tournament because of a shoulder injury he suffered during the recently-concluded Lanka Premier League (LPL). And, leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who incurred a thigh niggle ahead of the LPL final, could miss at least two matches of the tournament, according to ESPNCricinfo.

Further adding to Sri Lanka woes, batters Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando, who could make the Asia Cup squad for the team, have tested positive for Covid-19. Both the star players are presently under observation and their selection in the Lankan squad will only depend on the speed of the recovery. The repot added that the duo picked up the symptoms during the final stages of the LPL tournament and will only be picked in the Asia Cup squad if they return negative results.

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Fernando has been out of ODI action since January owing to an injury while Perera has not been part of the ODI squad since 2021, bit due to his unimpressive form and struggle with injuries.

Sri Lanka’s biggest blow has been the injury of Hasaranga, who was in top form during LPL, both as a wicket-taker and as a run-getter. And while, they could replace Chameera with Dilshan Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando, Hasaranga has been irreplaceble in the Lankan side.

Sri Lanka will begin their Asia Cup campaign with a match against Bangladesh on August 31 at Pallekele. They will play their second group game in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on September 5.

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