Sri Lanka’s pace bowling spearhead Suranga Lakmal will not be available for the two-Test series in Pakistan owing to a bout of dengue fever. The 32-year-old is by far the most experienced member of Sri Lanka’s pace attack and his absence leaves a gaping hole in the visitors’ fast bowling resources.
Incidentally, Lakmal was the sole player in Sri Lanka’s initial 16-man squad for the Test series, who had also toured Pakistan back in 2009 – the last time Pakistan hosted a Test match on its shores. He has now been replaced with uncapped pacer Asitha Fernando, who will join the team for the second Test since he is presently playing in the South Asian Games.
Lakmal has been a pivotal part of Sri Lanka’s Test lineup and has usually bowled the bulk of the overs in their away series. His absence paves the way for the likes of Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara and Kasun Rajitha to get a chance in the playing XI.