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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 February, 2003, 13:20 GMT

Muralitharan fit for Kiwi opener
Muttiah Muralitharan will be fit for Sri Lanka's World Cup opener against New Zealand.

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan came through the warm-up game unscathed

The off-spinner has been struggling to regain full fitness since tearing a thigh muscle in the recent one-day series against Australia.

And, despite playing in Thursday's warm-up match against Free State, the 30-year-old remained a major doubt to face the Black Caps.

But on Friday, team physiotherapist Alex Kontouri said he had come through the game unscathed and would play on Monday.

He said: "He is as good as before. Since it was the World Cup we were a bit cautious about how soon to play him.

"But he came out well on Thursday and I see no reason why he will not take the field on Monday."

Sri Lankan hopes rest heavily on Muralitharan, who has been their leading wicket taker in one-day cricket with a tally of 304.

The World Cup, however, could well be the spinner's last appearance in one-day internationals.

He said recently: "I only get injured playing one-dayers, never Test matches," hinting he was set to follow Shane Warne's lead of retiring from the limited overs game.

Links to more Sri Lanka stories


Sri Lanka overwhelm Free State
06 Feb 03 |  Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka race to victory
04 Feb 03 |  Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka happy to repay Kenya
02 Feb 03 |  Sri Lanka

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