Sri Lanka’s star spinner Muttiah
Muralitharan will know next week if he is sufficiently recovered from a shoulder
surgery to resume his international career in New Zealand early next year,
officials said on Wednesday.
The former world record holder was left out of Sri Lanka’s
20-man preliminary squad for the December-January tour of New Zealand that
features five one-day internationals followed by two Test matches.
But officials were hopeful the prolific off-spinner, who has
been out of the game since August due to surgery on his bowling shoulder, may be
available for the two Tests at Hamilton (January 15-19) and Wellington (Jan
"Muralitharan was not included in the list of probables because
he has not been medically cleared to play," said Sri Lanka Cricket spokesman Ray
"We are monitoring his improvement and will decide later if he
can play the Test matches."
Muralitharan will be told next week by his Melbourne-based
surgeon, David Young, when he can start playing, Illangakoon added.
The 32-year-old was Test cricket’s most successful bowler with
532 wickets till Australian Shane Warne overtook him on the recent tour of India
and took his tally to 541.
Muralitharan, whose career was been marred by accusations of
chucking, has been banned by the International Cricket Council from bowling the
going-away delivery — the ‘doosra’ — because of his controversial action.
Sri Lanka will travel to New Zealand without veteran
wicket-keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana who announced his retirement on Tuesday after
being left out of the preliminary squad.
Kaluwitharana, 35, was best known for his aggressive batting
and was part of Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning team in 1996.
His decision to quit was sparked by a wrist injury sustained on
the recent tour of Pakistan. Sri Lanka drew the series 1-1.
Sri Lanka’s preliminary squad:
Marvan Atapattu (capt), Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara,
Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Upul Chandana, Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Fernando,
Rangana Herath, Saman Jayantha, Thilan Samaraweera, Thilina Kandamby, Kaushal
Lokuarachchi, Lasitha Malinga, Ian Daniel, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara,
Jehan Mubarak, Prasanna Jayawardene. ..Dinuk Hettiarachchi