Muttiah Muralitharan an injury concern for Sri Lanka

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The Independent Online

Sri Lanka are to fly out the veteran all-rounder Chaminda Vaas and spinner Suraj Randiv as cover ahead of the World Cup final amid injury concerns over Muttiah Muralitharan and Angelo Mathews.

Muralitharan is set to play the last match of his illustrious international career in tomorrow's Mumbai showpiece against India and marked his final delivery in his home country by taking the wicket of New Zealand's Scott Styris. But he has struggled throughout the tournament with a succession of niggling injuries, most notably knee and hamstring problems. The Sri Lanka coach, Trevor Bayliss, insisted the "chances are good" of Murali playing and that the spinner would take the field even if he was in discomfort.

Mathews was forced off by a thigh problem while fielding in the semi-final win over the Black Caps and was forced to bat using Mahela Jayawardene as a runner. Vaas, with his left-arm seam and useful runs from the lower-middle order, would be an ideal replacement for Mathews. The 37-year-old pondered retiring from international cricket after being left out of his country's 15-man squad for the tournament.

Randiv, 26, will be available to deputise for Muralitharan should the 39-year-old not be fit to play. No request has yet been made officially to add either player to the squad, but both flew to India yesterday and will be available if required.

Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar have been appointed as the on-field umpires for the final. The pair have, between them, been named as the ICC's Umpire of the Year for the last seven years, with Taufel winning the award from 2004 to 2008 and Pakistan's Dar taking the honours since. Dar stood in the 2007 final between Australia and Sri Lanka, which ended in a farcical misunderstanding over bad light, but Australian Taufel has had to wait for his chance owing to his country's presence in the previous three finals.

England's Ian Gould and another Australian, Steve Davis, will serve as third and fourth umpires respectively, while New Zealand's Jeff Crowe has been named as the match referee.

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