Sri Lanka’s Muralitharan faces new test for British visa

April 5, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is struggling to qualify to play English county cricket this year — because he is scared of computers and examinations. A recent change in Britain’s work visa rules means the world record holder must prove his English language skills at an examination to secure a permit to play for Gloucestershire in June.

“I have a visitor’s visa (for Britain) till 2013, but I have to sit for an exam now to work there,” he told reporters on Tuesday, adding he was scared to write his exams on a computer.

“I don’t know how to use computers.”

Asked if he was frightened of the computer or the exam, he said: “Both.”

“I last sat for exams in 1988 and passed six subjects for my (General Certificate of Education) Ordinary Levels. I left school afterwards. All I wanted to do was to play cricket.”

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 runs several charities which fund IT training, maintains schools