ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 2, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 14

Murali could make World Twenty20

Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan might still play in the inaugural World Twenty20 despite suffering an injury. He strained the bicep above his right elbow while bowling for Lancashire against Kent on Wednesday.

But contrary to earlier reports ruling him out of the September event, no decision will be taken 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 basically 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." Muralitharan played no further part in Lancashire's match against Kent after the first day.

Should he be ruled out of the tournament, which begins on 11 September, leg-spinner Malinga Bandara is expected to be called up as his replacement.

The off-spinner is also in danger of missing the home one-day international 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 Shane Warne's record tally of 708.

Muralitharan's absence would be a huge blow to the Twenty20 hopes of in-form Sri Lanka, whose captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Wednesday that his side could win the tournament.

Sri Lanka open their campaign against Kenya in Johannesburg on 14 September. -- BBC

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.