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Balaji to replace injured Munaf in SL

February 02, 2009 14:43 IST

Medium pacer Munaf Patel, who is nursing a groin injury, will leave the tour of Sri Lanka mid-way to return home for rehabilitation and Tamil Nadu paceman Laxmipathy Balaji will replace him in Colombo.

"Patel will take at least 7-10 days to be fully fit. The members of the National Selection Committee decided to send L Balaji to Sri Lanka, following a teleconference [with the team management]," BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement issue on Monday.

"Balaji will fly to Sri Lanka tonight," he said.

Munaf's injury was first noticed after the first ODI in Dambulla, where he bowled five overs and conceded 32 runs without taking any wicket. He missed the second match.

India, leading the five-match one-day series 2-0, will play its third match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Balaji last played international cricket in August 2005 after which injuries kept him out for nearly three and half years. The 27-year-old Tamil Nadu pacer has played eight Tests and 29 one-dayers for India between 2002 and 2005.

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