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Angelo Mathews to miss Sri Lanka's Champions Trophy opener against South Africa

Angelo Mathews will have to wait for his Sri Lanka return
Angelo Mathews will have to wait for his Sri Lanka return

As a big blow to Sri Lanka's chances in the ongoing Champions Trophy campaign, their skipper Angelo Mathews is set to be ruled out of the opening game against South Africa on Saturday with a calf injury.

Mathews played a brilliant 95-run knock in the first warm-up game against Australia at Kennington Oval but was forced to miss the second game against New Zealand at Edgbaston.

Earlier, a hamstring injury that he sustained during the T20I series against South Africa kept him out of action for almost five months and the 30-year-old was declared fit ahead of the team's departure for the Champions Trophy tournament.

The news was confirmed by a statement released by Sri Lanka Cricket Board.

"Mathews... had complained of stiffness and pain, prompting the Team management to conduct radiographic investigations which revealed a strain on the muscle," Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.

"Mathews will engage in supervised recovery over the next few days but will most likely sit out the first group stage match against South Africa," it added.

In the absence of Mathews, it will be opening batsman Upul Tharanga, who will lead the side after having already captained the side during the tri-series in Zimbabwe and also in limited overs series against South Africa, Australia and Bangladesh.

After their opening encounter against South Africa on Saturday, Sri Lanka will face India and Pakistan on 8th and 12th June respectively.

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