Murali will play through pain barrier for World Cup final

SRI LANKA spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will play through the pain barrier in order to be a part of his side’s attempt to win the World Cup at the expense of India tomorrow, according to his coach Trevor Bayliss.

Muralitharan, 38, missed a net session yesterday in Mumbai and has struggled with niggles through the course of the tournament, including a hamstring injury, a side strain, a damaged knee and a groin issue.

“Chances are good that Murali will play,” said Bayliss of Murali who, assuming he makes it, will play his final international game at the Wankhede stadium. “He completed 10 overs in the semi-final, and such is the character of the man that he will play even with discomfort.”

Despite Bayliss’s upbeat bulletin, Sri Lanka are concerned enough to have flown in veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas and off-spinner Suraj Randiv as cover for Murali and all-rounder Angelo Matthews.

Sri Lanka had not yet applied to the ICC to have them included as official replacements, but Bayliss added: “We have asked for them just to be on the safe side, but Murali and Mathews will be given as long as possible.”