Sri Lankan team, who are already, was dealt yet another blow after captain Upul Tharanga was handed an ill-timed two-match suspension by the International Cricket Council after the team was found to have bowled three overs short in the stipulated time during the second One-Day International against India last week.
Consequently, Tharanga was banned for the next two games and his absence was felt by the hosts as they lost the series after being thrashed by 6-wickets in the third ODI on Sunday (August 27). The skipper will also miss the upcoming fourth game on Thursday (August 31).
The problem, however, does not end here. The ban is Tharanga’s second in three months as he had also faced the same punishment in the ICC Champions Trophy in June. He was suspended for a couple of games after his team’s ‘serious’ slow over rate against South Africa. As a result of two bans due to serious slow over-rate inside three months, Tharanga is now facing a bigger ban in the coming days. The Sri Lankan star now faces the possibility of getting a minimum eight-month ban from international cricket if his team commits the slow over-rate mistake in the next 12 months.
More problems for the hosts:
Sri Lanka’s miseries have been further compounded as their stand-in skipper Chamara Kapugedera has been ruled out of the fourth ODI after he aggravated a back injury during the third ODI. Veteran fast-bowler Lasith Malinga will now lead the Islanders in the crucial penultimate game of the series which they need to win at any cost to keep alive their hopes of securing an automatic qualification for the next World Cup.
Lasith Malinga to captain Sri Lanka in the 4th ODI as Kapugedera pulls out due to injury!
— Roshan Abeysinghe (@RoshanCricket) August 29, 2017
The series is decided as far as the winner is concerned but it still holds a huge importance for the hosts. Currently ranked eighth in ODIs, Sri Lanka need to win the remaining two games to secure an automatic spot for the next World Cup.
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