Murali dilemma for desperate Sri Lanka

Oct 9, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka are mulling over whether to play star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan in the must-win fourth one-day international against England here on Wednesday.

The hosts, trailing 1-2 in the five-match series, will be tempted to field the 35-year-old, who has recently recovered from a bicep injury suffered while playing for English county Lancashire in August, but there are concerns about rushing him back into action too soon.

Muralitharan is also needed for next month’s two Test matches in Australia, where he requires nine wickets to surpass Shane Warne’s world record tally of 708 to become the most successful Test bowler ever.

If the off-spinner does not get the record there, he still has three home Tests against England waiting in December to reach the landmark.

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said he was unsure if Muralitharan will play on Wednesday or in the final game of the series on Saturday.

“Murali has to be hundred per cent,” said Jayawardene.

“We will have to see whether we definitely need him because he is very important to us in the five Test matches we have got ahead of us.

“We will see how he is but we a