Rangana Herath will be unavailable for the seventh ODI against New Zealand on Thursday, as he returns home to be with an unwell family member, Sri Lanka’s team manager has said.
Herath will leave the squad immediately, but is scheduled to return to New Zealand on around February 3, well ahead of Sri Lanka’s first World Cup warm-up match against South Africa on February 9. He has been Sri Lanka’s best spinner in the series, taking four wickets at an average of 30 and an economy rate of 4.13 from the three games he has played.
Angelo Mathews also remains in doubt for the final ODI, despite having recovered from his calf injury. He has become ill with what appears to be the flu, and did not train with the team on Monday. Mathews had missed the previous two ODIs with a niggle, as Sri Lanka chose not to risk further injury to him with the World Cup on the horizon.
The team also reports that Lasith Malinga is nearing match-fitness, and is likely to be available for Sri Lanka’s warm-up matches in February. There is a small chance he could even play in Wednesday’s ODI, but a mix of both fitness and strategic reasons are likely to keep him out of that game.
Sri Lanka play the first match of the World Cup against New Zealand on February 14.