Reports: Kusal Perera tests positive for COVID-19 virus, likely to miss white-ball series against South Africa

Reports: Kusal Perera tests positive for COVID-19 virus, likely to miss white-ball series against South Africa

South Africa will tour Sri Lanka in the month of September.

Kusal Perera
Kusal Perera. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)

The Sri Lanka cricket team has suffered a huge blow ahead of the white-ball series against South Africa with Kusal Perera reportedly testing positive for the COVID-19. This has put Perera’s participation in jeopardy and it would be interesting to see if he recovers ahead of the crucial series. The wicketkeeper-batsman has been a cornerstone of the national team for a while and the Lankan Lions would not want to miss his services against the Proteas side.

For the unversed, Perera, who led Sri Lanka during the England tour earlier this year, sustained a shoulder injury and got ruled out of the entire limited-overs series against India. All-rounder Dasun Shanka led the side in his absence and did a decent job. While Shikhar Dhawan’s men walked away with a 2-1 win in the ODI leg, the home team famously clinched the T20I series 2-1.

Kusal Perera is all but likely to miss the South Africa series

While returning to training, Perera underwent a mandatory RT-PCR test, which determined that the southpaw had contracted the widely-spreading virus. The disease is all but likely to keep the swashbuckler away from the vital series against South Africa ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 which will take place in UAE and Oman in October-November.

For the unversed, Perera is one of the most experienced Sri Lankan players among the current lot. So far, he has represented Sri Lanka in 22 Tests, 107 ODIs, and 50 T20Is, scoring 5595 runs across formats. This also includes eight centuries. Hence, his absence would definitely hurt the Lankan Lions in the upcoming assignments.

Meanwhile, the South Africa cricket team is set to tour Sri Lanka for three ODIs and as many T20Is next month. The games will be played between September 2 and September 14 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. While the home team is yet to announce the squad for this series, the visitors have named their team.

South Africa ODI squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassies Van Der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, George Linde, Junior Dala, and Dwaine Pretorius.

South Africa T20I squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kafia Rabi, Basi Benjadara.