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World Cup 2011

Randiv replaces injured Mathews in Sri Lanka squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 1, 2011

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Suraj Randiv appeals for a wicket, Sri Lanka v India, Tri-series, 5th ODI, Harare, June 5, 2010
Suraj Randiv was already with the team, facilitating a quick swap © AFP
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Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of Saturday's World Cup final, with the team management drafting in offspinner Suraj Randiv to their 15-member squad. Mathews' absence is a huge blow for Sri Lanka, since he was a significant presence in the middle order in addition to being a reliable back-up seamer.

Mathews had left the field during the semi-final against New Zealand with a quadriceps muscle injury when Sri Lanka were fielding, and was visibly hampered for movement when he later came out to bat with a runner. Muttiah Muralitharan was also not in peak physical condition during that game, and the Sri Lankan team management decided to call-up Randiv and veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas as standbys. The pair joined the Sri Lankan team on Thursday evening.

With Mathews not recovering soon enough, Sri Lanka sought approval from the ICC's technical committee for swapping him with Randiv, and they were given the go-ahead on Friday, less the 24 hours before the final. Randiv was a regular member of Sri Lanka's limited-overs' side last year, but initially missed out on a World Cup spot to Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis, who were picked ahead of him as the spinners to support Muralitharan.

Despite struggling with a number of niggles, including injuries to his knee and hamstring, Muralitharan is expected to play in what will be his last international game.

India have injury worries of their own ahead of the final, with seamer Ashish Nehra a doubtful starter, having sustained a fractured finger on his right hand during the semi-final victory against Pakistan.


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