Sri Lanka Cricket will invite Muttiah Muralitharan to present awards at the conclusion of the ongoing series against Australia, SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala has said. The move is ostensibly an attempt to repair the board's relationship with Muralitharan, following the war of words between the two parties that preceded the series.
"I have asked the secretary Mohan de Silva to invite Murali to give away the awards on the last day of the final Test match," Sumathipala told Daily Mirror. "Murali is welcome to witness the entire Test. At least we want him to remain present on the last day of the match on August 17, or on the day if the Test finishes early." The third match of the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy begins at SSC on Saturday.
Tempers had flared ahead of the series when Murali took on a ten-day consulting role with Australia, which ended just prior to the first match. Sumathipala had originally said he was not opposed to Murali's consulting with Australia, but later suggested that the spinner had made an ethical breach by working in opposition to Sri Lanka, citing in particular the trials he had endured regarding his action, in Australia. Murali had then slammed the board for, among other things, its treatment of local coaches.
Now, however, there is an appetite to patch up the relationship and move on.