Lanka seeks Indian help to defend Murali

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has sought the support of India in his bid to sue the ICC over the decision on Muttiah Muralitharan.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Colombo:Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse today sought the support of India and other South Asian countries in his bid to sue the International Cricket Council over its decision to outlaw Muttiah Muralitharan's "doosra" delivery. Rajapakse said he will meet with India's ambassador to Sri Lanka, Nirupam Sen, this week as well as other top diplomats from Bangladesh and Pakistan to seek their views on as well as support for Sri Lanka's defence of Muralitharan. Rajapakse told reporters here today that he will also be consulting lawyers Thursday on action to be initiated against the ICC and said Muralitharan was not only the pride of Sri Lanka but entire South Asia. "What we are doing is not politics," Rajapakse said. "It is my duty to protect one of our national treasures. Muralitharan is not only the pride of Sri Lanka, but the entire region." Rajapakse said he would do everything within his power and that of the government to defend the bowler. He brushed aside ICC chief Ehsan Mani's advise to him as well as his Australian counterpart John Howard to stay out of the Muttiah Muralitharan controversy and allow the ICC to deal with the situation. It was Howard's remarks last week that he believed Muralitharan was a chucker which prompted Test cricket's world record wicket-taker to consider boycotting Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in July. (PTI)

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