Asia Cup 2012 March 14, 2012

Angelo Mathews out of Asia Cup

Sri Lanka have been dealt a blow as their allrounder Angelo Mathews was ruled out of the Asia Cup due to a calf injury. Mathews had missed the finals of the recent Commonwealth Bank series in Australia due to the same problem. No replacement has yet been named.

"The last couple of days Angelo has had some fitness tests, he hasn't pulled through those well, so we made a call to send him back home," Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said. "He will try to get ready for the Test matches [against England] that starts in about ten days' time. The selectors back home will decide [on] and send a replacement for us."

Sri Lanka are already without another of their allrounders, Thisara Perera, who picked up a back injury in the final league match of the CB series and hasn't played since. That leaves Sri Lanka short of allrounders, and they needed Tillakaratne Dilshan to bowl his quota of ten overs in the opening game against India. They had no part-time bowlers in the XI, and when Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir were going strong, had to turn to Chamara Kapugedera, who is used so occasionally that he has only two wickets in his 90-match ODI career.

The team have still not taken a decision on whether another of their injured players, pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, will play against Pakistan tomorrow. "Malinga played through injury in the final two matches of the CB series, so we decided to give him a break yesterday [against India]," Jayawardene said. "Yesterday he bowled a bit, he will be bowling today as well, and after his bowling session we will take a call on him tomorrow."

Sri Lanka had their first full-fledged training session of the tournament this afternoon. Malinga was present at the session, and bowled a spell over which he gradually built up to full pace. He followed that up with some batting practice as well.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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