While the comeback of Lasith Malinga comes as a good news for Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup, the team is worried about Dinesh Chandimal's participation in the tournament. Akila Dananjaya also is set to miss the first two games as he is awaiting the birth of his first child.
Sri Lanka will face Bangladesh in the tournament opener on September 15, with their next game set for September 17 against Afghanistan. The absence of Dananjaya is particularly a blow, with the offspinner being among Sri Lanka's main threats in the shorter formats of the game, having also regularly taken up new-ball duties in the crucial powerplay period.
Chandimal sustaining a hairline fracture on the middle finger has put doubts over his participation. He will likely be replaced by Niroshan Dickwella who was not in the initial squad. Dickwella was also dropped for the one-off T20 against South Africa at home last month when Chandimal had returned from the ICC-imposed spirit-of-cricket suspension.
Meanwhile, the tight nature of the tournament means Sri Lanka missing their two key players will hurt their chances in the tournament.
Sri Lanka's squad for Asia Cup 2018
Angelo Mathews (capt), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga
Standby: Shehan Madushanka, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sadakan, Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella