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Lay off from cricket will do Murali a 'world' of good - Tennekoon

CRICKET: The short lay-off from International Cricket should rejuvenate ace off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to comeback to his own during the World Cup to be staged in the sub-continent in February.

Muralitharan who announced his retirement from Test cricket last year after taking 800 Test wickets, is also the highest wicket taker in ODI's (517) and will bid goodbye to International Cricket after the World Cup 2011. Muralitharan no doubt will be an integral part of the Sri Lankan bowling machinery in their bid to repeat their 1996 feat in winning the World Cup. Sri Lanka Cricket Manager Anura Tennekon who led the inaugural World Cup team in 1975 and the subsequent one in 1979, both held in England, said that Muralitharan has been bowling quite a lot during his carrer, and the short lay-off should help him a lot. "Whatever the rest, he gets in between the tournament will help him to rejuvenate himself and comeback into his own self in the tournament.

"This will certainly be an advantage, because the less you see of a bowler and play him in the centre, it is going to be a bit different that other times. But batsmen have got to know 'Murali' as he has been playing for a long time. The batsmen have also got video postage to follow his action. But 'Murali' is a bowler who could produce curious deliveries to keep the batsmen guessing. I hope he will be able to do something in the World Cup tournament,' said Tennekoon.

The Sri Lanka Cricket Manager said that he believes in Sri Lanka taking our strategy match by match and try to win on that particular day.

Going back to the inaugural World Cup Tourney in England in 1975 which he captained, Tennekoon said that: " It was the inception of the World Cup, the organisation was good, but it was not as professional as it is now. Over the years the tournament has been developed and fine tuned, and now it has reached the stage that everything is pick and span and is in order when the tournament begins".

Tennekoon said that it was a great event for people in this part of the world. He said that the ODI Series in Australia late last year, which Sri Lanka won, has given the players a lot of self-belief and strength in their ability, and if they could carry this conception into the World Cup, too, Sri Lanka should progress well in this tournament and perhaps reach the final stages of the competition.

 

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