Sri Lanka to give injured Murali time
Sri Lanka are going to give Muttiah Muralitharan extra time to try and recover from the groin injury, which ruled him out of the match against Zimbabwe, before dismissing the offspinner from the World Twenty20 altogether. Earlier in the day it sounded as though Muralitharan was already on a plane home, but Kumar Sangakkara wants to give his star man a chance.
"We haven't ruled him out completely," the Sri Lanka captain said after a rain-effected win over Zimbabwe. "We are going to give him a few more days to try and see whether he can get on the park and compete 100% for us."
Muralitharan, who is also the team's vice-captain, was injured during Friday's opening match against New Zealand in Guyana, which Sri Lanka lost by two wickets. "Clinical tests revealed a grade one strain of his right adductor muscle," team physiotherapist Tommy Simsek said in a statement released by Sri Lanka Cricket in Colombo.
Muralitharan had a successful IPL season, part of the Chennai Super Kings squad that eventually won the tournament. However, Sangakkara remains confident that if he can't recover in time for the Super Eight matches that the squad has the depth to cover.
"If not we have Suraj Randiv who has had a very impressive six months in domestic and international cricket," he said. "He's bowled against some of the toughest opponents in the world on flat tracks in India and Bangladesh and he came out right on time.
"He can field brilliantly, handle a bat and more importantly get through his four overs. The cover is there, of course you can't replace Murali - we would love to have him all the time - but we have tried to cover for changes to the team."
Zimbabwe's net run-rate has taken such a hit with the defeat that Sri Lanka and New Zealand are now virtually into the Super Eight stage of the tournament.
Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo