Prasad ruled out of first Test against England


Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford has confirmed that fast bowler Dhammika Prasad will miss the first Test against England, starting at Headingley on Thursday, due to a shoulder injury.

Prasad suffered the injury while bowling in Sri Lanka's opening tour game against Essex and, while it was initially thought not be that serious, Ford said the seamer will be hoping to prove his fitness for the remaining two Tests of the series.

The news will come as a big blow for the Asian side as Prasad was one of their star performers when they won the Test series in England in 2014.

Ford said: "He's not available for the first Test and it's an ongoing assessment, on a daily basis. I am hoping that we can get him bowling again fairly soon.

"Then we'll have to build him up and get quite a number of overs bowled in the nets in order to prepare him for potentially the second and third Test."

The Sri Lanka mentor though was in a positive mood after the tourists second warm-up game against Leicestershire ended in a draw with opener Dimuth Karunaratne scoring a century on the final day.

Ford also backed middle-order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne to come good in the series against England despite the player scoring a scratchy 40 not out on Sunday.

A former coach of Surrey in county cricket, Ford said: "He has played against big, tough opposition before and scored runs.

"That's a big plus. Unfortunately he's coming back from injury so he hasn't had as much cricket as he would have liked or we would have liked. But he's getting himself back into some good touch, which is really good going forward."