Lanka injury crisis: Murali, Fernando out of ODI series

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The visiting Sri Lankan team was hit by an injury crisis after Muttiah Muralitharan and Dilhara Fernando were ruled out of the ongoing ODIs against India.

Updated: December 16, 2009 08:58 IST
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The visiting Sri Lankan cricket team was on Wednesday hit by an injury crisis after off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and pacer Dilhara Fernando were ruled out of the ongoing one-day series against India due to finger injuries.

While Muralitharan injured himself during the Test series, Fernando hurt himself during yesterday's opening one-dayer here while attempting a return catch from Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"Fernando hurt his finger during yesterday's match. His replacement will be announced shortly," visiting team manager Brendon Kuruppu told PTI on Wednesday.

Trailing 0-1 in the five-match series following the narrow three-run defeat in the series-opener, Sri Lanka have brought in two new off-spinners, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara and Suraj Randiv, in the squad to make up for Muralitharan's absence.

"We have decided to rest Murali from the One-Day series to allow him to recover fully from the finger injury and to be available for future tournaments," Kuruppu said.

"Murali injured his ring and middle fingers during the Mumbai Test (third and final match of the series held in the first week of December) and is going back home via Chennai," Kuruppu informed.

The world's leading wicket-taker in Tests missed the two Twenty20 Internationals that followed the Test series as well as the first ODI that India won here yesterday.

Kuruppu also said the Lankans have called for the services of two new players Pushpakumara and the 24-year-old Randiv who would be joining the team ahead of the second match in Nagpur on December 18.

Pushpakumara was part of the Twenty20 squad before going back to Sri Lanka at the end of the second match in Mohali on December 12.

"They would be joining us in Nagpur," said the visiting team manager.

He also hoped that indisposed pacer Lasith Malinga would be available for the Nagpur ODI after missing the first one here yesterday.

"He is doing well and should be available for the second game," Kuruppu said.

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