Malinga ruled out of New Zealand tour

Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been ruled out of their tour of New Zealand with a knee injury.

It is a cruel blow for the visitors, with Malinga set to stay in Sri Lanka to receive treatment.

The 32-year-old will be replaced in Sri Lanka’s squad by all-rounder Thisara Perera.

The blow comes after fellow fast bowler Dhammika Prasad suffered a back injury in the side’s warm-up game in Queenstown earlier this month.

Sri Lanka’s tour of New Zealand continues on Boxing Day with the opening game of the five-match one-day international series at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval.

New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan believes Malinga’s injury is a “big loss”.

“What a contributor he’s been over a number of years for Sri Lanka. He’s been their key fast bowler,” McMillan said.

“He’s a handful. I’m sure they’ll miss him, but it gives an opportunity to some other younger guys in the squad.”

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