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Blow to Sri Lanka Ahead of Asia Cup Final vs India as Star Spinner Maheesh Theekshana Ruled Out

Last Updated: September 16, 2023, 12:56 IST

Maheesh Theekshana took eight wickets in five matches of Asia Cup 2023. (AFP Photo)

Maheesh Theekshana took eight wickets in five matches of Asia Cup 2023. (AFP Photo)

Sri Lanka Cricket has recalled offspinner Sahan Arachchige as an injury replacement for Maheesh Theekshana ahead of the Asia Cup final.

A day before the final of the Asia Cup 2023, Sri Lanka have suffered a major injury blow with their star spinner Maheesh Theekshana being ruled out due to a hamstring issue. Sri Lanka will take on India in the title clash in Colombo on Sunday.

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), the Sri Lanka Cricket board (SLC) confirmed that Theekshana underwent scan which confirmed an injury after he strained hamstring during their thrilling win over Pakistan in a Super 4 clash earlier this week.

“Maheesh Theekshana, who strained his right hamstring during the game against Pakistan, will not be available for the finals,” the post read.

“A scan was done and confirmed the muscle injury,” it added.

SLC selectors have recalled 27-year-old offspinner Sahan Arachchige as a replacement for Theekshana.

Acrachchige made his ODI debut during the world cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe earlier this year and took one wicket from two matches. He though scored a half-century against the Netherlands.

“Sri Lanka Cricket Selectors have brought in Sahan Arachchige into the squad in place of Theekshana. Theekshana will return to the High Performance Center to commence rehabilitation work,” SLC said.

Theekshana played a crucial role in taking Sri Lanka to the final with eight wickets from five games at 29.12.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s opponents India have also dealing with an injury concern with Axar Patel expected to miss the final.

Asia Cup 2023 Full Schedule | Asia Cup 2023 Complete Results | Asia Cup 2023 Full Coverage

Axar is reported to have picked up multiple injuries during India’s narrow defeat to Bangladesh in the final Super 4 clash on Friday. Allrounder Washington Sundar, who last played an ODI in January, has been asked to fly to Sri Lanka as an injury cover for the title clash.

India were the first team to enter the final of the tournament having beaten Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 round.

Bangladesh were eliminated from the race after suffering defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka then defeated Pakistan in a rain-affected last-ball thriller to join India in the title clash.

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