Offspinner sustains elbow injury August 30, 2007

Murali ruled out of Twenty20 Championship

Cricinfo staff

Muttiah Muralitharan has sustained an elbow injury that will rule him out of next month's Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. No replacement has been announced as yet but it is believed that Dilruwan Perera, the offspinning allrounder who was on standby when the original squad was announced, is the front-runner.

"Murali is affected by an elbow injury and he will be out for four to six weeks," the secretary of the Sri Lankan cricket board, Kangadaran Mathivanan, told AFP. "He is definitely out of the Twenty20 [championship]." The injury also means that Murali may not be fit in time for the five-ODI home series against England which starts on October 1.

Murali walked off the field with a right bicep strain after bowling more than 33 overs on the first day of Lancashire's game against Kent on Wednesday. Though he returned before the close of play, he did not bowl any further during Kent's innings.

"He's had a scan, which revealed a strain in his bicep. We'll just have to see how that settles down," Mike Watkinson, Lancashire cricket manger, told PA Sport. "We are waiting for the radiologist to report on it and then we'll see how we go." Murali has sent down nearly 400 overs in his 8 appearances for Lancashire this season, sparking concerns that he has been over-bowled.

Murali, who is the quickest to take 200 wickets for Lancashire, was making his last county appearance this season and was scheduled to fly home over the weekend to join the Sri Lankan team's preparations for the Twenty20 tournament.