As Sri Lanka and Bangladesh set to go head-to-head in the first Group B match of Asia Cup 2023 today (Thursday) at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, in Kandy, Sri Lanka, both teams have some bad news.
Sri Lanka will go into the tournament with an injury-riddled squad and several key players — like all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, pacers Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Madushanka and Lahiru Kumara — will be missing the Asian event.
On the other hand, Bangladesh suffered a massive blow on Wednesday as wicketkeeper-batter Liton Das was ruled out after he was unable to recover from a viral fever and could not travel to Sri Lanka for Bangladesh’s opening match.
Bangladesh are led by the experienced Shakib Al Hasan and have veterans like Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed and Mehedi Hassan.
The Sri Lankan team is led by Dasun Shanaka and have experienced personnel like Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Maheesh Theekshana and Dhanajaya de Silva.
The surface at Pallekele is favourable to batters as it provides little to no help to the bowlers in the early stages of the game. Taking advantage of this, the batters will surely look forward to getting an upper hand before the ball turns old and starts to favour the spinners.
Bangladesh: Afif Hossain, Mohammad Naim Sheikh, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Towhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mehedi Hassan
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara, Matheesha Pathirana
It must be noted that the Asia Cup 2023 is being held in Pakistan, who are the hosts, and Sri Lanka between August 30 and September 17.
All the matches of the Asia Cup will not be played in Pakistan because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to send their team to Pakistan due to security concerns.
Four matches will be played in Pakistan, while nine, including the final, will be played in Sri Lanka.