Muttiah Muralitharan has been ruled out of the fourth one-day international against England, according to his manager, after failing to recover from his bicep injury. But despite talk that he will miss the whole series Muralitharan retains hope of appearing in the final match in Colombo.
Muralitharan hasn’t played an ODI since the World Cup and picked up his injury playing for Lancashire against Kent in the County Championship in August, which ruled him out of the World Twenty20. Despite making progress, he is too valuable to Sri Lanka to be risked ahead of important Tests against Australia and then England in December.
However, if the series is tied at 2-2 there will be a temptation to field Muralitharan on Saturday and Mahela Jayawardene said: “We have not ruled him out of the final match yet. He bowled seven overs today and there is a chance he could be fit in time.”
Jayawardene’s comments follow earlier remarks by Kushil Gunasekera, Muralitharan’s manager, about his fitness: “Murali will not be playing in the last two one-day internationals as he is still not 100% fit,” he said. “He has just started to bowl two to three overs a day and is testing his injury out.”
“He wants to be very sure before he makes a decision with regards to playing and at this stage the one-day games against England are definitely out. He is targeting the tour of Australia and at this rate we are very confident he will be at his peak level of fitness by that time.”
Jayawardene had previously said Sri Lanka would show caution over Muralitharan’s fitness with important Tests in the near future. “We’ll have to see whether we definitely need him because he’s very important to us in the five Test matches we’ve got ahead of us - once we get back to Colombo we’ll see how he is but we’re not going to rush him.”
Sri Lanka also have an injury concern with Farveez Maharoof who suffered a back spasm during Sunday’s match at Dambulla. He has been their leading bowler in the series with 10 wickets at 9.5 but faces a race to be fit for Wednesday’s game in Colombo.
Sri Lanka (probable) Upul Tharanga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jehan Mubarak, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:england, England in Sri Lanka 2007, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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