World's leading Test wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka will play for Bengal in India's premier first-class domestic competition this season, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has signed up the off-spinner for the Ranji Trophy matches in the 2008-09 season beginning in November, the Kolkata-based Telegraph newspaper said.
"The Lankan board chief executive, Duleep Mendis, has sent across a fax to us, mentioning that Murali will be available for Bengal in the upcoming first-class engagements," said CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
"With his experience of 756 Test and 479 one-day international wickets, Bengal cricket will benefit immensely."
Muralitharan was expected to play four matches for the state side, which was relegated last season. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is also included in the state side.
"The arrangement is clear. His obligations to the Lanka board will always come first," Dalmiya said.
Muralitharan was not picked for Sri Lanka's next assignment -- a four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Canada next month.
The Sri Lankan team has no international engagements this year, but Muralitharan is likely to turn up for the inaugural Champions Twenty20 League from December 3-10 at three Indian venues.
The Indian cricket board last month allowed each state team to select a maximum of four outstation players, including a foreigner.