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Cricket-Back injury forces Atapattu out of England tour

By Staff
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Apr 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's captain Marvan Atapattu will miss his team's forthcoming tour of England after failing to recover from a career-threatening back injury.

Mahela Jayawardene has been appointed captain and Kumar Sangakkara vice-captain for the ten-week, three-test tour starting later this week.

The 35-year-old Atapattu now faces probable surgery in an attempt to resolve a chronic lower back problem that is threatening to force him into retirement.

''We were hoping that the injury would heal naturally with rest but a scan has revealed that there is no improvement and we now have to consider surgery,'' physiotherapist Tommy Simsek told Reuters.

Jehan Mubarak has been named as Atapattu's replacement. The 25-year-old has played seven tests with a top score of 48.

Sri Lanka depart for England on Wednesday and begin the tour with a three-day game against a British Universities team at Cambridge from April 24.

The tourists then take on England in the first test at Lord's starting on May 11, followed by a five-match ODI series between June 17 and July 1.

REUTERS PM HS1146

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