West Indies v Sri Lanka, World T20, Group F, Barbados May 7, 2010

Muralitharan suffers relapse of groin injury


Muttiah Muralitharan is once again a major doubt for the rest of the World Twenty20 after he pulled up with a recurrence of his groin injury following a surprise return to the team against West Indies. Muralitharan initially hurt himself in the opening match of the tournament against New Zealand, in Guyana, and a Sri Lanka Cricket statement said it would require two to three weeks' rest.

However, Muralitharan declared himself fit before going wicket-less through four overs and needing further treatment. The Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss admitted his participation is now in doubt.

"He's getting treatment, he's pulled up a bit sore. We will just have to wait and see how it comes up tomorrow morning, that will be the real test," Bayliss said. "At the moment it doesn't look great."

It was a gamble by Sri Lanka to recall Muralitharan, but Bayliss said that when a player of his experience tells you he is fit you have to trust their judgement. "You take the word of the player," he said. "Murali thought that he was right and that he was ready to go."

At least Sri Lanka's impressive 57-run victory in their opening Super Eight match will have pleased officials from the Sri Lankan board, who earlier in the day released a statement criticising the team for a "rusty" start to the tournament. Sri Lanka lost the opening match on the penultimate ball against New Zealand before progressing after a rain-affected victory against Zimbabwe.

"Sri Lanka, who emerged as runners up in the 2009 ICC T20 World Cup in England, has not been impressive in the Caribbean this time around," the statement said. "Living with past glories does not help at this level. The bowling must get tighter and the fielding must get disciplined both in catching and at ground level."

The statement added that Mahela Jayawardene, who started the tournament with scores of 81 and 100, needed support from other batsmen so Kumar Sangakkara's 49-ball 68 was a timely display. Jayawardene still led the scoring with an impressive, unbeaten 98.

The most notable player out of form is Tillakaratne Dilshan. He began the World Twenty20 with scores of 3 and 2 which led to him being shunted down the order against West Indies as Sanath Jayasuriya was promoted to open. It was quite a demotion for Dilshan, who was Man of the Tournament last year in England and now has a shot, the Dilscoop, named after him.

Tellingly, the Sri Lanka release questioned the role of the IPL in the loss of form of key players. "Most of the senior players barring Jayawardene look rusty, tired and out of sorts," it said. "Let's hope the toll of the recently concluded IPL is not playing her part with the players."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • thatsgold on May 9, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    Karma, perhaps? How many times does Murali go off the field when he is not even injured? I think that rule should be changed. It is not fair to the opposition to bring on a better fieldsman when the person going off is not injured.

  • Cannuck on May 8, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Ha ha ha ha!! I love what Azhar_Preena pointed out!!! Absolutely TRUE!!! Talk about the cat calling the kettle black. BTW I too don't agree blaming the IPL for everything. I can understand the blame if this was a test series & players were still in the gung-ho style of cricket in T20. BUT, TIS IS T20, the same format & not even ODI. So what's the problem? Like someone pointed out before smarter players like MJ adjusted & honed their skills thru IPL, while others like Dil & Mendis were exposed to the world & lost their mystique. It's up to the player to make changes, adjust the style to avoid being over exposed. Tired? Come on, these are professional players so they should be fit to play at a high level. SL cricket should stop blaming others for their own issues & political interference that keeps "old" players like Sana, that hinders the future development of the game for Sri Lanka!

  • SaifQazi on May 8, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    @Amit Chand... not for once did the writer pointed himself abt the IPL takin a toll on the players... if u've been followin it, Sri Lankan Cricket Board itself has been skeptical abt the IPL n the effect of it on the players, esp wen they return back to national duties.. n accept it or not, players do get tired afta so much of cricket..

    i admit injuries r part of the game bt the writer reportin has to give all aspects relatin to the news to its readers..!!

  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on May 8, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    Read the article again, Amit. The statement was issued by SLC, McGlashan is just quoting it.

  • Azhar_Preena on May 8, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    Notice how Sri Lanka cricket has issued a statement which said: "Living with past glories does not help at this level" - contradictory given that Sanath is still in the squad!!

  • Satr on May 8, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    The ipl?!? Dilshan and jayasuriya just played the first 3 matches and isnt mahela tired?!? Jaya is getting old and dilshan is lacking quality. The ipl... hahahaha

  • schathuranga on May 8, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    he always shining sri lanka.

  • Amit_Chand on May 8, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    Mr McGlashan: Would you kindly stop bashing up the IPL for everything. Who is the best player of Sri Lanka in this T20 World Cup till now? Jayawardene. Someone who's position in the team the same Sri Lankan's were questioning before the IPL. He played at the top of the order in the IPL and it is there he found his current form. Half of the Aussies who were pathetic at T20 used IPL to sharpen their skills. Look at the Poms horrendous T20 players till some of them took part in the league. For every reason critics have for abusing the IPL I have one to counter them.Let's get over with the IPL and concentrate on the T20 World Cup

  • dummy4fb on May 8, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    true true....i think they saw wat happnd to indians in a turning n bouncy pitch and they added 4 seamers(kulasekara,malinga,matthews&perera) & 4 spinners (murali,mendis,sanath&dilshan) to the side.... murali was there to balance the team n it was a gud decision @ the end....i think nw he can rest a game or 2 cas we hav a gud chance of getting into semis..gud luck......

  • SAUMYAALOYSIUS on May 8, 2010, 3:38 GMT

    That is his commitment towards the game. A selfless cricketer who has conquered all hardships with great success. Murali, keeps it going till his retirement. He is the world's most confident cricketer. Injuries cannot keep him away from the game. He is absolutely b-o-r-n-t-o-u-g-h.

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