Murali cuts tour short

Muttiah Muralitharan has returned home to be with his sick son and will miss the remainder of Sri Lanka's tour of England.

Muralitharan's son is undergoing stomach surgery, and his teammates threw their full support behind him returning home and missing the final three one-dayers of the tour.

"The operation went well and the little one is in hospital for observation for a couple of days," Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene told the BBC.

"Murali did the right thing by going. There are some things which are more important than cricket."

Muralitharan was superb during the three-match Test series, taking 24 wickets, including a haul of eight in the second innings of the final match that helped his side level the series at 1-1.

But his influence has not been as strong in the shorter version of the game, and with Sri Lanka leading the five-match one-day series 2-0, Muralitharan will be replaced in the squad by spin bowling all-rounder Kaushal Lokuarachci.

"Obviously, he's a senior member of the team and we'll miss him but it creates an opportunity for another young guy to come in," Jayawardene said.

Malinga Bandara is expected to replace the champion spinner for Saturday's third one-dayer in Chester-le-Street.

"He did pretty well in the VB Series in Australia," Jayawardene said.

"We used him every match when we had the supersub rule, and he bowled brilliantly alongside Murali.

"He performed really well but has not had much of a chance since then."

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