Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal will miss next week’s first test against India after being diagnosed with pneumonia, dealing a big blow to the hosts ahead of the three-test home series against their neighbours.
The 27-year-old was named test captain earlier this month after long-serving skipper Angelo Mathews stepped down following Sri Lanka’s first one-day international series defeat to Zimbabwe.
The right-handed batsman then led Sri Lanka to a win in the one-off test against the same opposition.
“Chandimal was down with flu and was taken to the hospital this morning,” a Sri Lanka Cricket spokesman told Reuters.
The first test against Virat Kohli-led India starts on Wednesday at Galle.
“We were actually only told late last night – the blood test came a bit late. He’s got pneumonia,” Asanka Gurusinha, Sri Lanka’s cricket manager, was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“He was admitted to hospital this morning at 9 AM (local time), and he’s definitely out of the first test.”
Sri Lanka have limited-overs captain Upul Tharanga in the side while spin spearhead Rangana Herath has also lead the side last year in the absence of Mathews.