April 6, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who was worried about Britain’s new visa regulations, has secured a work permit to play county cricket, his manager said Wednesday. Kushil Gunasekera said the British authorities had expedited his visa as he had to leave for India on Wednesday to play in the Indian Premier League before heading off to join Gloucestershire in June.
“He wishes to thank the British authorities for quickly issuing him with a visa,” Gunasekera told AFP.
The British gesture came after Muralitharan told reporters that he feared facing examinations and using computers to lodge his work permit application online.
A recent change in Britain’s work visa rules requires those applying for work permits to prove their English language skills at an examination to secure a visa.
Asked if he was frightened of the computer or the exam, Muralitharan told reporters on Monday: “Both.”
Muralitharan, who turns 39 this month, quit international cricket after Sri Lanka’s defeat in the World Cup final against India on Saturday with a record 800 Test and 534 one-day wickets under his belt.
Despite his aversion to computers, Muralitharan run