If Nuwan Pradeep is ruled out, Kasun Rajitha is likely to take his place in Sri Lanka"s squad

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Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep"s future in this World Cup is in doubt after he suffered a hard blow to his bowling hand at training on Sunday.

Pradeep was bowling to Kusal Perera in the nets, when the batsman hit a ball at Pradeep"s head. The bowler put his right hand up to his face in self-defence, and suffered a blow to a finger. Team-mates who gathered around appeared to be concerned about the seriousness of the injury. Pradeep himself was in visible pain and was subsequently taken to hospital.

An injury to Pradeep will be a serious blow to Sri Lanka"s World Cup hopes, with the fast bowler having bowled the decisive spell in Sri Lanka"s only victory of the tournament so far, against Afghanistan. He took 4 for 31 and took home the Player of the Match award.

Pradeep has been injury-prone in general, and has often been ruled out for months on account of hamstring complaints, but this being an external blow will particularly frustrate him, especially as it has come at a time when he was in good bowling rhythm.

Sri Lanka have a replacement ready if Pradeep is forced out of the World Cup. Kasun Rajitha, the 26-year-old right-arm quick, has been traveling with the squad as a standby player.

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