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Kusal Perera Ruled Out Of T20I Series Against Bangladesh Due To Respiratory Infection

Kusal Perera & Nirson Dickwella (X.com)Kusal Perera & Nirson Dickwella (X.com)

In a major setback for the Sri Lankan team, dynamic batter Kusal Perera will miss the upcoming three-match T20I series against Bangladesh, beginning from 4th March in Sylhet. Wicket-keeper batter Niroshan Dickwella will step in to replace Perera in the T20I squad, as confirmed by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) on Friday, March 1st.

This adds to the woes of the Lankan Lions, who are already missing two of their key players - Pathum Nissanka and Dushmantha Chameera - both sidelined due to respective injury concerns.

In addition to all this, T20I skipper Wanindu Hasaranga, who has been entrusted with leading the side, will miss the first two games due to a suspension received for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. 

This injury update comes just days before the start of the three-match T20I series. Perera did not accompany the team on February 29th, while Dickwella is scheduled to join the squad in Bangladesh tomorrow, ahead of the series opener.

According to SLC’s media release,

"Kusal Janith Perera, who was included in the T20I squad, will not take part in the series as he is suffering from a respiratory infection. Perera did not join the team, which left for Bangladesh yesterday. The Cricket Selection Committee has named Niroshan Dickwella in place of Kusal Janith Perera. Dickwella will join the team tomorrow.”

Like Perera, Dickwella also boasts a wealth of experience, having played over 120 games. The explosive left-handed batter has featured in 28 T20Is for his national team, amassing 480 runs at a strike rate of 131.

In Nissanka's absence, Perera was anticipated to open the innings. Now, it remains to be seen whether Dickwella will slot into the opening role straightaway for the first T20I or if he will be kept on the bench.

The series will kick off on March 4th, with the next two T20Is scheduled for March 6th and 9th, respectively, all taking place in Sylhet.

Sri Lanka’s Updated Squad: Wanindu Hasaranga (C), Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kamindu Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, Binura Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dilshan Madushanka.