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Lakmal ruled out

Calcutta: Sri Lanka are fighting fitness issues ahead of their two-Test series against Pakistan, set to begin from Wednesday.

According to a report in a cricket-specific website, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal will play no part in the upcoming series, having sustained severe swelling above his left ankle following the second Test against South Africa.

Shaminda Eranga could have been a replacement for Lakmal, but even his fitness is under doubts. Eranaga will only be available for the first Test if he can prove that he has recovered well enough from a hand injury to field without complaint.

Sri Lanka had named Lakmal in the Test squad hoping that he would recover in time to be fit for the Pakistan series, but that clearly hasn’t been the case. Though chances of Lakmal suffering a stress fracture were allayed, the swelling above his ankle persisted, leading to edema.

Not just the Test series, Lakmal’s participation in the three-match ODI series against Pakistan is also uncertain. According to the report, Lakmal’s recovery is likely to take at least three weeks. The Lankans, however, have not named a replacement.

Coming to Eranga, the pacer could only bowl nine overs on the first day of the South Africa Test series, having split the webbing between the thumb and index finger on his bowling hand, while fielding.

The injury required eight stitches and understandably, that kept him out of the second Test versus the Proteas. But the report said that the Lankans are mulling of fielding him in the first Test provided he is able to field properly during the training.

In an attempt to have enough cover for their frontline fast bowlers fighting for fitness, Sri Lanka have named five fast bowlers in their 15-member squad for the home series.

Apart from Lakmal and Eranga, the other pacers in the squad are Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep and Chanaka Welegedara. Prasad and Pradeep played in Sri Lanka’s Test win over England in Headingley.