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Murali must play in World Cup

Sri Lankan off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan’s county Lancashire has confirmed that the Sri Lankan Cricket Board has informed Murali that he will be part of their squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

The Lancashire website said on Tuesday that the 35 year-old premier off-spinner would be travelling back home today to play for his country in a three match Test series against Bangladesh and will be back at Old Trafford on July 20.

Earlier, on his arrival at Old Trafford last month, Murali had stated he would not be going to South Africa to play in the inaugural competition.

However, new Sri Lanka Coach Trevor Bayliss has insisted that all contracted players will be required for the tournament, meaning he will miss Lancashire‘s final three County Championship games.

“I will miss the last three matches because my cricket board has insisted that I go to play in the Twenty20 World Cup,” Murali was quoted as saying on the Lancashire website.

“I will play five more Championship games with Lancashire,” he added.

Meanwhile, with Cricket Australia calling for a training camp for all contracted players at the end of August, Brad Hodge will have to travel to Queensland on August 26.

If Hodge gets selected in the Aussie squad for the Twenty20 World Cup, he will travel straight from Australia to South Africa. If Brad is not selected he will take part in an Australia ‘A’ tour of Pakistan.

“All contracted players are going to that training camp, and then after that, as far as we understand it, they either go to the Twenty20 World Cup or they go on the ‘A’ tour to Pakistan,” explained cricket manager Mike Watkinson.

Murali will also miss LV Division One games against Durham, Warwickshire and Surrey, with Hodge missing the same games plus Kent at Canterbury.

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