Sri Lanka ready to risk injured Muralitharan for England tour

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Sri Lanka's selectors yesterday made plans for for the injured spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to join their tour of England, but he will not travel with the initial 16-man party.

Muralitharan, the world's best off-spinner, suffered a torn shoulder ligament while fielding in Wednesday's Sharjah Cup final. Sri Lanka lost by 217 runs, and then learned that Muralitharan was expected to be out of action for at least three weeks. He will fly to Melbourne for treatment.

The 36-year-old batsman Aravinda de Silva, who has shown excellent form domestically, has won a recall and is in line for his first Test appearance since facing England in March 2001. There are also recalls for Prasanna Jayawardene and Eric Upashantha, who both have just one cap to their names. Ishara Amerasinghe, thought to be the quickest bowler in domestic Sri Lankan cricket, could win his first full cap.

The squad leave for England on Sunday, with Muralitharan and Dilhara Fernando both expected to join the tour party later.

SRI LANKA SQUAD (Test Series in England: S T Jayasuriya (capt), M S Atapattu, K Sangakkara, D P M de S Jayawardene, R P Arnold, H P Tillekeratne, T T Samaraweera, P A De Silva, W P U J C Vaas, P B Buddika, N T Zoysa, P D R L Perera, H A P W Jayawardene, K E A Upashantha, U D U Chandana, M K D I Amerasinghe. To join the tour (subject to fitness): M Muralitharan, T C B Fernando.