Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana has been ruled out of the Asia Cup 2023 Final against India owing to a hamstring tear. SLC has been replaced with off-spinner Sahan Arachchige.
Maheesh Theekshana ruled out of Asia Cup 2023 Final vs India
His replacement Sahan Arachchige made his ODI debut vs West Indies in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 qualifiers.
“The 23-year-old right-arm off-spinner has a hamstring injury and is doubtful for the final,” Prof. Arjuna de Silva, the chairman of the medical panel of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), confirmed.
“The team management would have taken the risk of playing him on Sunday but the World Cup is round the corner and it is advisable to rest him. We want him to be fit before the World Cup,” he said.
Explaining the possible reasons for his injury, the Professor explained, “He has been playing continuous cricket. He was part of the IPL (Indian Premier League), then the LPL (Lanka Premier League), and before that, he played home matches against Afghanistan and qualifying matches in Zimbabwe also. He was part of the T20I squad on the New Zealand tour (in April this year)”.
Sri Lanka has already been struggling with injuries to key players, with pacer Dushmantha Chameera and leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga missing out on the Asia Cup.
According to Prof. Arjuna de Silva, the injured players who are not part of the ongoing Asia Cup, are coming into shape. “They have started their training,” he said.
Theekshana is also Sri Lanka’s highest ODI wicket-taker in 2023 with 31 scalps in 15 matches at an average of 17.45. He will now have a race against time to get fit for the ODI World Cup, with his side playing its first game on October 7 against South Africa.