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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Sri Lanka bemoan Murali absence
By Saroj Pathirana
BBC Sinhala

M Muralitharan
Sri Lanka are always stronger with Muralithan in the side

Sri Lanka expect to be hit hard by the absence of Muttiah Muralitharan at the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa.

Team manager Sriyan Samararatne told BBC Sinhala: "It is a big blow to us. I think in this format a spinner is more effective than a fast bowler."

Muralitharan injured his bicep playing for Lancashire in August.

"If a batsman edges a fast bowler it might end up a six," said Samararatne. "But Murali can bowl completely different balls within an over."

Samararatne remains optimistic about Sri Lanka's chances, however.

He said: "We have come here to win this tournament.

"We are not much aware of the strength of other teams in this format, but we are very confident after our win against South Africa in the practice game.

"[Paceman] Lasith Malinga was quite impressive in that game."

Sri Lanka play back-to-back matches on Thursday and Friday in Johannesburg, in which they take on Kenya and then New Zealand.



SEE ALSO
Injured Murali to miss Twenty20
01 Sep 07 |  Cricket


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