What’s the story?

Sri Lankan Batsman, Danusha Gunathilaka has been ruled out of the 2018 Asia Cup after the swashbuckling batsman sustained a lower-back injury.

Gunathilaka will return back to the country. He will be replaced by all-rounder Shehan Jayasuriya who was earlier left out of the original squad following below par performance in the home series against the Proteas.

It’s been a tough eight weeks for Gunathilaka. He was making his comeback into the side after completing a six-match ban imposed by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. The ban was handed to Gunathilaka on account of violation of SLC Code of Conduct during the Test series against South Africa.

The 27-year-old, who scored twin-fifties in his last international outing for Sri Lanka (2nd Test vs South Africa) has had a history of Code of Conduct violations. He was officially reprimanded by the ICC for level 1 offense under the Code of Conduct for giving an aggressive send-off to Tamim Iqbal in a T20 match and was also slapped a three-match ban by the SLC for skipping training and turning up without the kit for practice against the home series against India last year.

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Earlier, in the week, Sri Lanka was jolted with a body blow when Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal was ruled out after sustaining a hairline fracture.

What’s next?

Five-time champions Sri Lanka won the last Asia Cup held in the 50-over format back in 2014 but with a run-of-form in the recent past coupled with an ever-increasing injury list, it will be a herculean task for the Anjelo Matthew-led side to conjure up a title-winning heist for a record-leveling sixth time.

The island nation will kickstart their Asia Cup campaign when they take on Bangladesh in the tournament opener on Saturday.

Sri Lanka squad for the Asia Cup:-

Angelo Mathews(c), Akila Dananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva