AFP: Team elder Mahela Jayawardene says Sri Lanka will have to tough it out at the World Cup amid a spate of tournament-ending injuries.
The Sri Lankans, who face a crucial pool match against hosts Australia in Sydney on Sunday, have been forced to call in their second reinforcement after another injury setback.
Batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was forced out of the tournament after breaking his finger while batting in the nets on Thursday.
Sri Lanka opted to replace Karunaratne with leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna.
The move to bring in Prasanna was approved by the International Cricket Council late on Friday, and Jayawardene said Sri Lanka will simply have to tough things out.
All-rounder Jeevan Mendis was ruled out earlier in the World Cup with a hamstring injury and was replaced by batsman Upul Tharanga.
The 1996 World Cup champions will also be without spinner Rangana Herath for Sunday’s crunch game after he split the webbing between his spinning fingers in the side’s last-start win over England.
“It’s always tough. This is the third guy we have lost from our original 15 in the space of four weeks,” Jayawardene told reporters on Friday.
“But we have some experienced players to back them up.”
Sri Lanka’s old hands have no shortage of experience playing in and against Australia, with Jayawardene in the midst of a fifth and final World Cup campaign.
The 37-year-old has being touring Australia since 1999, when he was flown in to replace Aravinda de Silva.
The first of his 19 ODI centuries came against England at the Adelaide Oval during that tri-series, in a match best remembered for umpire Ross Emerson’s decision to no-ball spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing.
Jayawardene, who saw fearsome Australian pace bowler Mitchell Johnson break the bones of two teammates in the Boxing Day Test of 2012, was dismissive of another serve from the left-armer this weekend.
“I remember us hitting a few of their boys as well,” he said. “Those scars won’t be there.
“They (Australia’s pacemen) are quick, but we’ve faced other quicks this tournament.
“If they’re not accurate, you can go for runs as fast as they bowl.”