Sri Lanka have suffered another serious blow to their pace bowling stocks with limited overs specialist Lasith Malinga ruled out of the tour of New Zealand with a knee injury.
Malinga, who has taken 291 wickets in 191 ODIs with his unique slingshot action, has remained in Sri Lanka to rehab the injury he sustained against the West Indies early last month.
The 32 year-old, who retired from test cricket in 2011, has been replaced in Sri Lanka’s squad by all rounder Thisara Perera.
Malinga is the second fast bowling casualty since Sri Lanka started their tour with a warm-up game in Queenstown earlier this month – Dhammika Prasad, the spearhead of the test pace attack, suffered a back injury in that game and returned home.
New Zealand also has a slight concern ahead of the opening game of the five-match series at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval on Boxing Day. Premier batsman Kane Williamson is potentially in doubt, also with a knee injury.
The newly-crowned world No 1 test batsman, according to the International Cricket Council, hurt his right knee while fielding in the second test against Sri Lanka in Hamilton.
He was visibly favouring the joint but it did not prevent him guiding the Black Caps to a five-wicket victory at Seddon Park with an unbeaten 108.
Test opener Tom Latham is on standby, hours after being named in Canterbury’s Ford Trophy squad to play defending champions Central Districts in the opening round of the domestic one-day competition in Napier on Sunday.
Black Caps batting coach Craig McMillan said Williamson would not be risked given there is a busy schedule ahead. (stuff.co.nz)