COLOMBO: Sri Lanka suffered a major blow to their World Twenty20 campaign when veteran off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was sidelined with a groin injury, officials said on Monday.
Muralitharan, 38, who is also the team's vice captain, was injured during Friday's opening match against New Zealand in Guyana, which Sri Lanka lost by two wickets.
"Clinical tests revealed a grade one strain of his right adductor muscle," team physiotherapist Tommy Simsek said in a statement released by Sri Lanka Cricket in Colombo.
"Murali has been advised to rest for two to three weeks." Muralitharan, who is the most successful bowler in history with a record 792 Test and 512 one-day wickets, took two wickets for 25 runs against New Zealand.
His replacement will be announced soon by the selectors in Colombo, a Sri Lanka Cricket spokesman said. Sri Lanka take on Zimbabwe in their last group B match in Guyana later on Monday, a game the 2009 World T20 runners-up must win to stay in the 12-nation tournament.