ICC Approves Tharanga As Replacement For Injured Jeevan Mendis
Sri Lankan opening batsman Upul Tharanga, has been named as a replacement for Jeevan Mendis who has been ruled out of the World Cup with a hamstring injury.
“The ICC has confirmed that the Event Technical Committee of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 has approved Upul Tharanga as a replacement player for Jeevan Mendis in Sri Lanka’s squad for the tournament,” said the International Cricket Council (ICC) in a media release.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews dwelling on the injury to Mendis, added that his replacement Tharanga is on his way to Australia.
"Upul will be arriving tonight, but Jeevan will be out for a minimum of two to three weeks.
“Jeevan will be out of the series and he'll be going back after the next game.”
Remaining non-committal on whether Tharanga will play the game against Bangladesh on Thursday, Mathews revealed that the team management is yet to make a decision in this regard.
"Upul will be in contention. But between the management and the selectors, we will decide whether we want to play him or not.
"We'll look at how Upul is doing before making a call on if he will play tomorrow. There's only about 12 hours from the time he lands, and the start of the game."
Tharanga is a seasoned campaigner for Sri Lanka, scoring 5339 runs in 176 matches, with 13 centuries and 28 fifties, playing a bulk of matches as an opening batsman.
However, the team-management is in a dilemma regarding Tharanga's position in the line-up, considering that Lahiru Thirimanne and Tillakaratne Dilshan are their current opening pair.
Giving his views on this predicament, Mathews counted on Tharanga’s vast experience to come good, further stating that the opening batsman had batted in almost every position with equal success.
"Tharanga has batted at all positions from No. 1 to 7, and has performed equally well.
"That is an advantage. His vast experience is the biggest plus. We also considered the fact that he has shown good recent form in domestic cricket."
The 30-year-old Tharanga also has enjoyed considerable success in World Cups, playing in both the 2007 and the 2011 editions as an opener, scoring 693 runs in 20 matches, with two hundreds and four fifties.
Sri Lanka will take on Bangladesh next, on 26th February at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sri Lanka squad: Angelo Mathews (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Dimuth Karunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera, Dushmantha Chameera, Kumar Sangakkara(wk), Sachithra Senanayake.
© Cricket World 2015