Lucknow, Feb 23 (IANS) Sri Lanka leg-spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga on Wednesday was ruled out of the upcoming T20I series against India as he is yet to recover from Covid-19 infection.
Hasaranga had tested positive for Covid-19 on Sri Lankass recent five-match T20I series against Australia earlier in February and had to miss the last three matches on the tour.
This is a big blow for Sri Lanka on the eve of the start of the T20I series against India in Lucknow.
“Wanindu Hasaranga, who was in isolation after contracting Covid-19, has once again, returned a positive result when a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) was conducted on the player yesterday (22nd February). A PCR test too confirmed the result,” said a statement from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
Hasaranga was last seen in action in the first two T20Is against Australia, taking 3/38 and 2/33 with the ball while making 13 with the bat in both matches before testing positive for Covid-19.
“He was first found to be positive during a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) conducted on the 15th February 2022. The player was transferred to Melbourne from Canberra and will remain in isolation until he returns a negative PCR Test Report,” further said the statement.
On the tour of Australia, Hasaranga was the third member in the touring party to test positive for Covid-19 after Kusal Mendis and Binura Fernando. Hasaranga had also been picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL Mega Auction for a whopping INR 10.75 crores and had played two matches for the franchise in the 2021 season in the UAE.
Hasaranga had made an impression with his leg-spin when a second-string Indian side, led by Shikhar Dhawan, went to Sri Lanka in July 2021 for a white-ball series. He had scalped seven wickets, including figures of 4/9, to be the top wicket-taker in the three T20Is.
Hasaranga took a hat-trick in the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup against South Africa, which went in vain. He was also the highest wicket-taker of the competition with 16 wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 5.20.