New Zealand news May 13, 2011

Muralitharan signs Twenty20 deal with Wellington

ESPNcricinfo staff

Wellington have secured the service of Sri Lanka's champion offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan for next season's domestic Twenty20 tournament. Muralitharan is expected to be available for Wellington for the whole of the competition, after he retired from international cricket at the end of this year's World Cup.

"It is a tremendous boost for Wellington to secure the services of one of the greatest international cricketers of all time," Gavin Larsen, the Wellington chief executive, said. "He is a superb cricketer and a great ambassador for the game. As well as being a huge asset for us he is also very keen to assist us in promoting the game around Wellington."

The Twenty20 competition is expected to run during January, meaning Muralitharan won't be available for Australia's Big Bash. Wellington have never won the Twenty20 title and Muralitharan, who has 1347 international wickets to his name, will be a major boost as they aim to win their first silverware in eight years.

"I've always enjoyed my time in New Zealand and it is a fantastic country to tour and to play cricket in," Muralitharan said. "I look forward to helping the Wellington Firebirds to success."

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