Lanka pacer Fernando set for England despite injury

Published: Friday, November 23, 2007, 14:06 [IST]
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Colombo: Sri Lanka's fast bowler Dilhara Fernando will play in the upcoming Test series against England despite a recurring ankle injury, his captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Friday.

Fernando, 28, is a key member of Sri Lanka's pace attack along with Lasith Malinga and 99-match veteran Chaminda Vaas for the three back-to-back Tests starting in Kandy on Dec 1.

His availability is crucial for the hosts in the absence of seamer Farveez Maharoof, who will miss the entire series after suffering a stress fracture during the recent Test tour of Australia.

Jayawardene said Fernando, who is due for surgery next April, took injections in Australia to make himself fit for the England series.

"Dilhara has had that ankle problem for quite some time," the captain said soon after the team returned from Australia, where it lost both Test matches.

"He saw a specialist in Australia who has recommended an operation for him, probably for early April when we get a decent break.

"He had an injection just before we left Australia, so he should be fine for this series," Jayawardene said of his fast bowler who has taken 80 wickets in 28 Tests.

Sri Lanka may field three fast bowlers, along with record-seeking spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, for the Kandy Test where conditions assist seam movement.

Muralitharan, who claimed just four wickets in Australia, is five away from surpassing retired Australian spinner Shane Warne's world record of 708 Test wickets.

After the Kandy Test ends on Dec 5, the second Test will be played in Colombo from Dec 9-13 and the third in Galle from Dec 18-22.


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