Sri Lanka suffered yet another setback on the eve of the third Test against the West Indies with their board announcing that veteran spinner Rangana Herath had hurt his hand during training on Friday.
“Rangana Herath is injured and is doubtful for the 3rd test match. Herath split the webbing on his right hand between the fourth and fifth finger during a practice session held ahead of the third Test,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.
Herath’s injury means the Sri Lankans are without a possible leadership option for the deciding day-night Test in Barbados with regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal’s participation looking unlikely.
Chandimal faces a lengthy ban. He appealed the one-Test ban for ball tampering in the second Test but admitted to the more serious offence of ‘conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.’
The third day of the second Test in St Lucia last Saturday was held up by two hours after the tourists failed to come out, in protest at the umpires’ decision to impose a five-run penalty and replace the match ball.
If Chandimal doesn’t play, seamer Suranga Lakmal will most likely lead Sri Lanka.
Safyaan Sharif, the Scotland bowler who took the final wicket in his team’s thrilling six-run ODI win over England, expressed his disappointment over Sunil Gavaskar’s view that the ICC are right in holding a 10-team World Cup.
Shariff sealed a memorable ODI win against England earlier this month when the 27-year-old trapped Mark Wood lbw in Edinburgh.
It was the first triumph for Scotland over their neighbours in any format and raised more questions whether the ICC have made the correct decision in restricting next year’s World Cup to just 10 sides.
Gavaskar argued that ‘one win does you make you good enough to play in the World Cup’ but Sharif disagrees with the Indian veteran.
“I read his comments as well and I disagree with him to be honest,” the medium pacer told Sport360. “The World Cup is meant to be played with different teams. If you want to have a 10-team World Cup, you might as well play the Champions Trophy as that is what it’s for. But for the World Cup, you need to have Associate teams playing top sides.
“Sachin Tendulkar tweeted saying that the game needs to grow. There will be players agreeing and people who disagree. But having a 10-team World Cup is not going to grow the game.”
He added: “To be honest, it’s disappointing as we proved around the world what Associate nations are capable of doing. This was the only opportunity we had since the World Cup Qualifier. We knew we had to deliver and there’s not much we can do to prove that we’re capable of playing. It just shows that Associate cricket is going onwards and upwards.”
Ireland are slated to take on giants India at the Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin on June 27 and June 29.
In the 14-man squad named by Cricket Ireland, Indian origin all-rounder Simranjeet Singh has also been included. The Mohali-born all-rounder previously represented the Indian state of Punjab at the U14, U17 and U19 levels before moving to Ireland in 2009.
“The selectors have chosen what we believe to be a strong, in-form squad for this format of the game that balances experience with youth. Our deliberations were around finding a side that was competitive now, but with an eye on the future,” Andrew White, chairman of selectors for Cricket Ireland, said during the squad announcement.
“We had a good look at a number of players on the recent tri-series in the Netherlands and this weekend’s match in Sussex (Ed Joyce’s testimonial) will firm up the decisions made on the final playing eleven for the first fixture on Wednesday,” he added.
“We will continue our approach of providing opportunities for a wider pool of players to gain experience in T20 cricket on the international stage.
“With around 12 months to go to the World T20 Cup qualifiers, we are looking to build a competitive squad for that qualification stage and hopefully propel us into the main tournament in 2020.”
India has already announced its T20 squads for the tour of Ireland and England last month with Virat Kohli set to lead the side both sides. The Indians are set to depart for Dublin from New Delhi on Saturday before taking on the hosts in the first T20I on Wednesday.
IRELAND 14-MAN SQUAD
Gary Wilson (C), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell , Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simranjeet Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson
INDIA 16-MAN SQUAD
Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (Wk), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav