Colombo: Sri Lanka’s selection panel has decided to replace Rangana Herath, the left-armer spinner, with uncapped slow bowler Sajeewa Weerakoon for the remaining three ODIs against Pakistan. With the five-match series leveled 1-1, Herath has been rested as the selectors kept in mind the Test matches to follow.
Herath was troubled by a knee injury during Sri Lanka’s victory in the second ODI, in his place the 34-year-old Weerakoon has earned a call-up. Herath had earlier undergone surgery on his troublesome leg in March.
"We had decided that he would play only two to three games in this series because it's always tough to return after an operation,” explained Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene. "He felt it sore in the first two games. If you noticed while fielding he was struggling a bit. After speaking to the selectors and the medical team we felt it was best he got some rest before the Test series. We needed to make sure we manage him well after his operation."
On Weerakoon, an offspinner who was the third-highest wicket-taker in the first-class 2011-12 Tier A competition with 42 wickets, Jayawardene said: “Personally I feel he is a deserving candidate and hopefully he will get his opportunity tomorrow. He has been in the shadows of Murali, Malinga Bandara, Herath and Ajantha Mendis for quite some time. He is a fighter. He has a lot of experience in club cricket and the A team."