Muralitharan hands Lanka Twenty20 boost

Published: Saturday, September 1, 2007, 0:00 [IST]
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London: Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan could still play in the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship despite earlier being ruled out of the tournament through injury.

Muralitharan injured his right elbow while bowling for Lancashire against Kent on Wednesday in the English county championship but no decision will be taken on his participation in the South Africa event until he returns to Sri Lanka with scans of his injury.

"It's better news than it could have been but it's up to Sri Lanka to assess it," said Lancashire physio Sam Byrne.

"We got the results back and it is just showing some inflammation around the bicep.

"We're sending the scans back with Murali to Sri Lanka and they'll manage it and constantly reassess it over the next week."

On Wednesday, the Sri Lanka cricket board said Murali would miss the Twenty20 event which runs from Sept 11-24.

"Murali is affected by an elbow injury and he will be out for four to six weeks," Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Kangadaran Mathivanan told AFP.

"He is definitely out of the Twenty20."

Leg-spinner Malinga Bandara is on standby to take Muralitharan's place in the squad.

Muralitharan consulted Sri Lankan team doctors in Colombo over the telephone and was advised to rest following the injury, sources said.

The off-spinner is also in danger of missing the home one-day series against England in early October.

But he should be fit for the two Tests against Australia in November where he needs nine wickets to overtake the retired Shane Warne's world record tally of 708 wickets.

Sri Lanka opens their Twenty20 campaign against Kenya in Johannesburg on Sept 14.


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