Sri Lanka sweat on Malinga fitness; skipper denies Moody remarks

ST DAVID’S, Grenada, April 10, 2007 (AFP) – Record-breaking fast bowler Lasith Malinga is doubtful for Sri Lanka’s World Cup Super Eights clash against New Zealand on Thursday with an ankle injury.

Malinga was not at Sri Lanka’s practice session at Sagesse Park here Tuesday and afterwards skipper Mahela Jayawardene told AFP: “Lasith has an ankle problem and we’ll assess it over the next couple of days. We’re not sure he’s 100 percent.

“We don’t want to take unnecessary risks at this stage. We’ve got experienced players who can come in and we are confident they can do a job for us.”

He said one of Malinga’s fellow quicks such as Farveez Maharoof or Nuwan Kulasekara was most likely to come in if the 23-year-old strike bowler, who has been one of the stars of the World Cup, doesn’t overcome his left ankle problem in time to face the Black Caps.

“It depends on how much of a gamble we want to take at this stage. He’s had a scan which has shown some minor ligament damage but it’s nothing serious,” said Jayaward