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Kusal Perera ruled out of Champions Trophy, Dhananjaya returns

Kusal Perera was forced to retire hurt with a hamstring injury AFP

Left-hand batsman Kusal Perera has become the second Sri Lankan after Chamara Kapugedera, and the fourth player overall, to be ruled out of the Champions Trophy due to injury. The ICC's Event Technical Committee has approved allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva as a replacement.

Kusal had picked up a hamstring injury during Sri Lanka's seven-wicket win against India at The Oval on Thursday, retiring hurt on 47 after putting on 75-run stand with captain Angelo Mathews.

"We got bad news last night that his hamstring injury worse than everyone thought so Kusal is out of the tournament," Asanka Gurusinha, Sri Lanka's team manager, said. "The doctor's comment was that it's a pretty serious hamstring injury. He will most likely fly home in the next few days. With Upul Tharanga suspended that's why we got Dhananjaya down pretty quickly because we needed a batsman."

Dhananjaya, a batsman and offspinner, last played an ODI for Sri Lanka in February this year, during Sri Lanka's tour of South Africa. He has made three fifties and averages 25.69 in 16 ODIs. He is best known, though, for his performances in his debut Test series against Australia last year, particularly for his century in the Colombo Test that sealed a historic whitewash for Sri Lanka.

Unlike Danushka Gunathilaka, who had been Kapugedara's replacement, de Silva has not been training with the squad in England, and had only arrived in London on Saturday. He could, however, come straight into the XI against Pakistan. Sri Lanka only have seven specialist batsmen in the squad, thanks to the over-rates suspension Tharanga picked up when standing in for Mathews as captain against South Africa.

Dhananjaya has not played competitive cricket since March, and has been batted in various positions in the ODI XI in brief stints in the team. With Sri Lanka unlikely to want to tamper with their top three, Dhananjaya may assume a middle-order spot, if he plays.