Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batter Kusal Mendis has tested positive for Covid-19 through a Rapid Antigen Test done in Sydney, Captain Dasun Shanaka confirmed during an online media briefing held today (8th February).
Mendis is a part of the 20-member Sri Lanka squad set to face World Champions, Australia in a five-match T20I series starting on 11th February.
Mendis is the third player from the current squad to have tested positive for Covid-19. Fast bowlers, Nuwan Thushara and Chamika Karunaratne, who returned positive results in Sri Lanka are expected to be fit and available for selection from the 1st game itself, Shanaka also confirmed. Apart from Thushara and Karunaratne, interim Head Coach Rumesh Ratnayake and trainer Dilshan Fonseka were also tested positive for Covid-19.
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Thushara and Rathnayake have already joined the team bubble in Sydney having left the island on the 5th of February. Karunaratne and Fonseka are expected to arrive Down Under tonight.
Mendis returned to the Sri Lanka T20I squad at the back of a successful Lanka Premier League 2021 in which he scored 327 runs and topped the batting charts. He was also expected to take the gloves in the absence of Kusal Perera. Even though Mendis is largely asymptomatic, he could miss the first few games. If so, experienced Dinesh Chandimal is expected to take the gloves. Uncapped Kamil Mishara is the other wicket-keeping option for Sri Lanka.
The first two matches will be played in Sydney before the series moves to Canberra for the third match, followed by the last two games in Melbourne.
Australia vs Sri Lanka 2022 – Fixtures
- 1st T20I – 11th February – Sydney
- 2nd T20I – 13th February – Sydney
- 3rd T20I – 15th February – Canberra
- 4th T20I – 18th February – Melbourne
- 5th T20I – 20th February – Melbourne