Colombo: Spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan is expected to play a key role in Sri Lanka' s bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Sri Lankan government said on Friday.
Sri Lanka has expressed confidence of winning the Games bid with just days to go before the host city is selected by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
The Sri Lankan city of Hambantotoa is vying to host the games with Australia's Gold Coast and the winning bid will be announced on November 11.
The Sri Lankan government said the international spinner rated as the "Leading Cricketer in the World" in both 2000 and 2006 by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, will be part of a delegation travelling to the Caribbean next week to make a crucial final presentation to the CGF.
"Murali is a sporting legend, cricket's highest wicket-taker in both forms of the international game; the first player to take 1,000 wickets combined. We hope he can help deliver another first - a Sri Lankan Commonwealth Games that itself will deliver so much for our unified nation and our people," Ajith Nivard Cabraal, co-chairman of the Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Muralitharan retired soon after the 2011 Cricket World Cup, ending his career with 800 test wickets and the world record of 534 One-day International scalps.