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Lords, England – Claims made by former Sri Lankan international, Muttiah Muralitharan, that England’s domestic Twenty20 tournament format is “old fashioned” and inferior to a similar competition held in Bangladesh have been dismissed in a strongly worded telegram issued by the ECB.

The telegram, which acknowledged Muralitharan as “CEYLON’S MOST EXPERIENCED PLAYER”, denied that English cricket was living in the past and insisted that the Friend’s Life T20 competition was “SUPERIOR TO THE VERSION PLAYED IN EAST PAKISTAN”.

When asked to comment further, an ECB spokesman said, “In a way it’s understandable if Murali thinks English cricket is old fashioned. He is, after all, playing it in Bristol,” adding, “oh, there are the pips, got to go, I’m out of change.”

Full details of the ECB statement can be found posted on their official usenet newsgroup alt.fan.allen-stanford