Colombo:Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan will miss what is expected to be an emotional return to Test cricket against Pakistan this weekend, officials said on Friday.
A knee injury has ruled 'Murali' out of Saturday's game at Sri Lanka's Galle International Stadium, the first Test between the two teams since a militant attack in Lahore, Pakistan, left eight people dead.
The two teams, however, recently contested the finals of the World Twenty20 in England that resulted in Pakistan beating Sri Lanka by eight wickets.
"Murali has picked up a knee injury and has been asked to rest for a while," team manager Brendon Kuruppu said.
Muralitharan, 37, currently holds the world record in Test cricket with 770 wickets. He is also the highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals with 505.
His place in the first of the three tests will be taken by either orthodox left-arm spinner Rangana Herath or rookie slow bowler Suraj Randiv Kaluhalmulla, a Sri Lanka Cricket official said.
The remaining two Tests will be played in Colombo followed by five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 game.