Sri Lanka replaces Malinga with Vandersay

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Saturday replaced injured paceman Lasith Malinga with 26-year-old leg spinner Jeffrey Vandersay as the country moved to defend its World Twenty20 title in India.

Sri Lanka Cricket said Vandersay, who has played in four T20 matches and taken one wicket conceding 115 runs, was a “potential future sensation”.

He was sent to India a day after Malinga, 32, flew back home from the T20 World Cup in India without having played a single match. Malinga’s departure was the latest setback for the maverick bowler, having been dropped as skipper after the team’s recent disastrous Asia Cup showing in Bangladesh.

Malinga presided over a dismal performance by Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup where they were beaten by little-fancied Bangladesh, and only just scraped past the United Arab Emirates. Sri Lanka won the last World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in 2014, but the team has been badly weakened by the retirements of star batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.