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9 Jan 2022
Avishka Fernando, the man in form for Sri Lanka has tested positive for Covid-19 and hence would most likely miss the three-match ODI series against a touring Zimbabwe side.
The series is set to begin from January 16 and the probable players for the Sri Lanka squad for that series have already entered the bubble, although the squad is still not announced. Zimbabwe however reached Sri Lanka on Sunday and would be stationed at Kandy, the place where the three-match series would be played at the Pallekele Stadium.
According to Sri Lanka Cricket's medical staff, Fernando has received three vaccinations. The booster dose, however, was administered less than two weeks ago. Only Fernando has returned a positive test so far among all the players tested.
Since the ban has been lifted from the trio of Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, and Danushka Gunathilaka, the absence of Fernando might not trouble the team as much as it would have otherwise. In his last two games in the LPL 2021, Fernando struck 100 off 64, and 63 off 41 balls.
The three ODIs would be part of the CWC Super League and Sri Lanka currently are sixth on its points table after 15 games. Zimbabwe on the other hand are at the bottom in the 13 team league with only two wins from nine games. Hence the three matches are really important for both the teams.
The top eight teams qualify directly for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. The other five would go into a qualifier where they will face five associate nations and the top two from there will make the World Cup.