Calf Injury Rules Mathews Out of ‘Nidahas’ Trophy: Dinesh Chandimal Likely To Captain Again

Angelo Mathews' frustrations with injuries continue as he has been ruled out of the Nidahas Trophy tri-nation tournament with a new injury. Mathews has played just one game since being reappointed as Sri Lanka's white-ball captain in January before returning home from Bangladesh with a hamstring injury. The 30-year-old has been doing rehabilitation in Colombo to get fit for the forthcoming series, but sustained a calf injury during training, which has now ruled him out of the competition.

"Angelo has been putting in a lot of effort to make himself available for the Nidahas Trophy. He has worked tremendously hard to be fit after being given a strenuous programme to follow. Unfortunately, during one of the training sessions he ended up hurting his calf," a source from Sri Lanka Cricket told Cricbuzz.

While the injury is not serious, Mathews wasn't given the green light by the SLC medical staff to prove his fitness. The four players who were racing against time to be fit - Mathews, Nuwan Pradeep, Kusal Janith Perera and Dushmantha Chameera - were told to play the current domestic T20 competition to prove their fitness. While the other three did, Mathews wasn't able to represent his team Colts CC.

While Perera and Pradeep have been given a clean bill of health, Chameera will have to go through a fitness test later on Tuesday (February 27). Test captain Dinesh Chandimal, who successfully led the side to series wins in Bangladesh in ODIs and T20s in the absence of Mathews, is expected to lead the side during the tri-nation competition.

Mathews has had a series of injuries on his lower body since January last year. The all-rounder returned home early from a tour of South Africa after a hurting his calf. He missed the series against Australia and Bangladesh in 2017 before making a comeback during Champions Trophy. He also missed the tour to UAE for the series against Pakistan in September with a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, the hopes of Lasith Malinga making a comeback to the side are soon fading away despite some impressive performances by the fast bowler for Nondescripts Cricket Club for whom he took five wickets in two games over the weekend. The think tank seemed to have expressed the need to move forward with the 2019 World Cup in mind and the 34-year-old is unlikely to find a place in the squad.

The Nidahas Trophy gets underway on March 6 with Sri Lanka taking on India at R. Premadasa Stadium. (Cricbuzz)

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