Sri Lanka's captain, Dasun Shanaka, has been ruled out of the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023 with a thigh muscle injury. This abrupt development has led Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to appoint Kusal Mendis as the new captain for the remainder of the tournament. Additionally, a replacement for the all-rounder Shanaka has been officially named.
The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 has given the green light for Chamika Karunaratne to step into the Sri Lankan squad as the replacement for the injured Dasun Shanaka.
Karunaratne, with 23 ODIs under his belt, has been chosen to fill the void left by Shanaka, who suffered a right thigh muscle injury during Sri Lanka's match against Pakistan on October 10.
The injury necessitates three weeks of recovery. Shanaka played an excellent knock of 68 in their defeat to South Africa in their first match of the tournament. He has been one of Sri Lanka's best limited-overs batters for a long time, and that's why his absence will be a big blow for Sri Lanka.
Kusal Mendis named as interim captain in Dasun Shanaka' absence
It's essential to understand that any player replacement must receive approval from the Event Technical Committee before they can be formally added to the squad, and the committee has approved it.
The Event Technical Committee for the ICC event comprises notable figures, including Wasim Khan (ICC General Manager – Cricket & ETC Chair), Chris Tetley (ICC Head of Events), Hemang Amin (Acting CEO – BCCI), Gaurav Saxena (General Manager – Operations, BCCI), Russel Arnold (Independent Representative), and Simon Doull (Independent Representative).
Sri Lanka, desperately in search of their first victory in the tournament, has faced a challenging start. They have participated in two matches, both resulting in losses. The first encounter against South Africa witnessed a record-breaking defeat, courtesy of an exceptional performance by Temba Bavuma's squad.
In their subsequent match against Pakistan in Hyderabad, they were compelled to accept another loss, largely due to Mohammad Rizwan's remarkable batting display.
Notably, the interim captain, Kusal Mendis, exhibited his batting prowess in both games, scoring a fiery 76 off just 42 balls against South Africa, followed by a remarkable 122 off 77 balls against Pakistan.
Although his individual brilliance couldn't secure wins for the team, his leadership skills will be under scrutiny as he takes on the captain's role for the remainder of the World Cup. Sri Lanka now seeks to regroup and bounce back with a stronger performance under Mendis's captaincy.