December 3, 2007

An undiluted champion

We Hebrews have a word for such occasions: mazeltov
297

You wouldn’t think there could possibly be anything more he could do to embellish the legend, but even as the warm breath of the Kandy Man’s most momentous feat enveloped the Asgiriya Stadium, came another reminder of his uniqueness.

When Fred Trueman became the first man to take 300 Test wickets at The Oval in 1964, he observed with typical drollness that, if anyone outdid him, he’d be “bloody tired”. Having sent down 38,000-odd balls to Trueman’s 15,000-odd, most of them in steamy, strength-sapping conditions, Muttiah Muralitharan had even more reason to prattle on about work ethics and sweat-drenched toil. Heaven knows he’d have been justified, in the heat of the moment, in hailing his historic delivery to Paul Collingwood this morning as the greatest ball of his career, an impeccable fusion of sorcery and sauce. What followed was as unexpected as anything he has ever served up for our delectation.

Collingwood was bewitched, bothered, bewildered and bowled by a ball that straightened: the “toppie” or doosra, or so we assumed. The author, astonishingly, disclaimed all responsibility: he’d tried to bowl the orthodox offie (as if anything he does can ever be regarded as such) but “the ball went the other way”, or so he confessed in typically disarming fashion to Sky Sports’ Nick Knight. Up in the commentary box, Sir Ian of Bothamshire was pinching himself black and blue.

In each of the seven categories to the right of the wickets column – best bowling, best match bowling, average, economy rate, strike rate, five-fors and 10-fors – Murali bests Shane Warne. Among that magnificent septet, those 61 five-fors are the most revealing (Robert Croft, the former England offspinner, justly equates such hauls to centuries). Yet even that staggering stat only hints at the colossal burden the tigerish Tamil has had to bear. Only one colleague, Chaminda Vaas (322 as I write), has scalped more than 100 Test victims; only Vaas (11) among Sri Lankans has taken five wickets in an innings more than five times. No bowler since Charlie Griffith, moreover, has had his action, and hence integrity, assailed by so many outrageous slings and arrows.

Through it all, almost without exception, he has resisted any urge to bitch back, to fire vengeful salvos about Brett Lee or Shoaib Malik or any other owners of dubious actions. Through it all, he has been mindful of the wider world, of tsunami victims and those less fortunate, as kind to dressing-room newcomers as he is respectful to the senior team-mates he has carried on that impossibly broad back. We Hebrews have a word for such occasions: mazeltov, meaning "congratulations". “Mazel”, though, means luck, and luck has played no discernible part in this cockle-grilling story whatsoever.

Warne may have done more to revive the art and heart of spin, but Murali has redefined our notions of sporting heroism. Verily, a champion for our times.

Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hilal Suhaib on December 27, 2007, 5:49 GMT

    Rahul, Technology does not exist where you can wirelessly connect bio mechanics equipment to players in live conditions. High speed camera's at 2000FPS show you the degree of flexation with an error of plus or minus of 5 degrees. ALL you amateur bio mechanic experts think the ICC and reputed scientists are clowns to over look the details. GROW UP!

  • Hilal Suhaib on December 27, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Anyone who keeps saying The ICC changed the rules to accommodate Murali should stop and listen to themselves sometimes. Unless you are uneducated a conspiracy theory as such, YES thats what it is.. a stupid conspiracy theory to claim the game's governing body and Australian scientists changed the rules to keep Murali in the game. In case you over looked it, under old laws of 10 degrees even Mcgrath and shaun pollock were chuckers! It was reported by news agencies world wide including cricinfo that pollock and Mcgrath had flexation of close to 12 degress. Thats ONE DEGREE less than Murali... Idiots!

  • Great Scott on December 14, 2007, 0:46 GMT

    Hey Rowan

    I bet you're just a waiter, and at those corporate (note the correct spelling) events where you spoke with the players, your side of the conversation consisted entirely of "Can I get you something Mr. Gilchrist?"

  • Adi on December 11, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    To those who can't seem to enjoy with others, I pity you.

    Does he chuck - I don't know, but he has been cleared by Bio-Mechanic experts from AUS. If you hate him so much down-under, you should have kept a gun on the docs head to declare him as such.

    Cricket is game that is played on the field with passion in your heart and a smile on your face. In that department, Murali will always be remembered as the greatest ever.

    BTW I am from India.

  • Alex on December 10, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    A true ambassador to the game, the great has overcome a large degree of scrutiny from the ICC to career threatening injuries, yet continues to keep a smile on his face whenever he plays. The way he is going I can see him reaching 800 minimum and maybe beyond. Taking 5 wickets in a first innings against the second best team in the world as saw in Columbo today, stresses his desire to continue. Without doubt he deserves to be spoken under the same breath as Bradman, Hobbs, Sobers and so on. These elite figures all appeared in the top five Wisden cricketers of the last millennium and of course it may be deemed ludicrous to say in 2007, but surely it would require someone out of the ordinary to prevent Murali being the best cricketer of the 21st Century

  • Michael on December 8, 2007, 22:47 GMT

    As expected this discussion has gone down a familiar path. My main observation is that one side of the debate seems to be susceptible to playing the race card at every opportunity. Funny how those crying racism are the ones using terms like "your white skin", "criminal past" and my personal favourite "you're all convicts, decended from thieves, murderers and rapists". Would appear to me that only one side is seeing race as an issue in this debate. From what i've seen the opposite side is arguing the point in term of cricket (you know the game: bat, ball stumps etc). Whether you think Murali is a chucker or not it can hardly be denied it is an issue in the game so to cry racism at every opportunity only denigrates your own argument. Those who live in glass houses...

  • Anonymous on December 7, 2007, 21:53 GMT

    Congrats Murali!

  • CHITS on December 7, 2007, 20:45 GMT

    URLs pointing to material that is not directly related to the discussion.

    Comments found violating these rules will be deleted.

    WHAT IS THIS? ROB ARE U A AUSTRALIAN ( IM JOKING UR TOO DECENT FOR THAT)WHO LIKE TO SET RULES BUT NOT PRACTISING

  • chits on December 7, 2007, 20:42 GMT

    cont.. comments accusing any player, team or official of match-fixing or of any performance being influenced by betting Try not to post two-word comments like “Great article”. Try to explain why you like the article. (This is also because increasingly spam contains only short phrases like the ones mentioned above – expanding on your comment reduces the risk of getting caught in a spam filter.)

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  • chits on December 7, 2007, 20:39 GMT

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  • Hilal Suhaib on December 27, 2007, 5:49 GMT

    Rahul, Technology does not exist where you can wirelessly connect bio mechanics equipment to players in live conditions. High speed camera's at 2000FPS show you the degree of flexation with an error of plus or minus of 5 degrees. ALL you amateur bio mechanic experts think the ICC and reputed scientists are clowns to over look the details. GROW UP!

  • Hilal Suhaib on December 27, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Anyone who keeps saying The ICC changed the rules to accommodate Murali should stop and listen to themselves sometimes. Unless you are uneducated a conspiracy theory as such, YES thats what it is.. a stupid conspiracy theory to claim the game's governing body and Australian scientists changed the rules to keep Murali in the game. In case you over looked it, under old laws of 10 degrees even Mcgrath and shaun pollock were chuckers! It was reported by news agencies world wide including cricinfo that pollock and Mcgrath had flexation of close to 12 degress. Thats ONE DEGREE less than Murali... Idiots!

  • Great Scott on December 14, 2007, 0:46 GMT

    Hey Rowan

    I bet you're just a waiter, and at those corporate (note the correct spelling) events where you spoke with the players, your side of the conversation consisted entirely of "Can I get you something Mr. Gilchrist?"

  • Adi on December 11, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    To those who can't seem to enjoy with others, I pity you.

    Does he chuck - I don't know, but he has been cleared by Bio-Mechanic experts from AUS. If you hate him so much down-under, you should have kept a gun on the docs head to declare him as such.

    Cricket is game that is played on the field with passion in your heart and a smile on your face. In that department, Murali will always be remembered as the greatest ever.

    BTW I am from India.

  • Alex on December 10, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    A true ambassador to the game, the great has overcome a large degree of scrutiny from the ICC to career threatening injuries, yet continues to keep a smile on his face whenever he plays. The way he is going I can see him reaching 800 minimum and maybe beyond. Taking 5 wickets in a first innings against the second best team in the world as saw in Columbo today, stresses his desire to continue. Without doubt he deserves to be spoken under the same breath as Bradman, Hobbs, Sobers and so on. These elite figures all appeared in the top five Wisden cricketers of the last millennium and of course it may be deemed ludicrous to say in 2007, but surely it would require someone out of the ordinary to prevent Murali being the best cricketer of the 21st Century

  • Michael on December 8, 2007, 22:47 GMT

    As expected this discussion has gone down a familiar path. My main observation is that one side of the debate seems to be susceptible to playing the race card at every opportunity. Funny how those crying racism are the ones using terms like "your white skin", "criminal past" and my personal favourite "you're all convicts, decended from thieves, murderers and rapists". Would appear to me that only one side is seeing race as an issue in this debate. From what i've seen the opposite side is arguing the point in term of cricket (you know the game: bat, ball stumps etc). Whether you think Murali is a chucker or not it can hardly be denied it is an issue in the game so to cry racism at every opportunity only denigrates your own argument. Those who live in glass houses...

  • Anonymous on December 7, 2007, 21:53 GMT

    Congrats Murali!

  • CHITS on December 7, 2007, 20:45 GMT

    URLs pointing to material that is not directly related to the discussion.

    Comments found violating these rules will be deleted.

    WHAT IS THIS? ROB ARE U A AUSTRALIAN ( IM JOKING UR TOO DECENT FOR THAT)WHO LIKE TO SET RULES BUT NOT PRACTISING

  • chits on December 7, 2007, 20:42 GMT

    cont.. comments accusing any player, team or official of match-fixing or of any performance being influenced by betting Try not to post two-word comments like “Great article”. Try to explain why you like the article. (This is also because increasingly spam contains only short phrases like the ones mentioned above – expanding on your comment reduces the risk of getting caught in a spam filter.)

    On the other hand, try and make sure your comments are not overlong. We currently have a character limit of 1000 (about 200 words) for comments.

    Avoid comments in all caps.

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  • chits on December 7, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    Guidelines for Commenting

    In the interests of accountability, only registered users can post feedback. Registration is quick and easy and you can sign up in the course of posting a comment.

    DOS

    Make sure your comments focus on the substance of arguments as opposed to their writers.

    Try and add value to the discussion, and do always stay on topic.

    Take extra care to read any comments posted by the author of an article as they may clarify the article.

    Stay polite and civilised at all times.

    Try and check your facts before posting. We won’t be fact-checking comments for accuracy, but will delete posts if we happen to find factual errors in them.

    DONTS

    Avoid insults, rudeness, and personal attacks against writers or fellow commenters. If you can’t say what you have to say politely, don’t say it at all.

    The following are not allowed under any circumstances:

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  • bradman on December 7, 2007, 20:26 GMT

    the world greatest ever batsman left hand - Lara the world greatest ever batsman right hand- sachin the world greatest ever fast baller - wasim the world greatest ever spinner - murali the world greatest ever fielder - rhods the world greatest ever keeper - sanga

  • Rahul on December 7, 2007, 8:23 GMT

    Hi Chums...You are right ...but you forgot to mention the following points -

    1. Unlike Warne, Murali has a deformity which gives the "optical illusion" of throwing. 2. Unlike Warne, Murali needed the support of the ICC headed by an Aussie (then) to change the laws of the game. 3. Unlike Warne, Murali took wickets against the first class batsman of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and yes when he bowled to thrid rated batsman of Australia (who cant play spin) he ended up with 4 wickets for 400 runs. 4. Unlike Warne, Murali is a genial smiling person, who has not resorted to obscenity of the pitch, so batsman give him their wicket more readily than warne (going by your logic of off field behaviour which helps bowlers in wicket taking).

    Thanks Chum...You provide insight to the world of cricket.

  • Chums on December 7, 2007, 5:11 GMT

    Terry a joker, from the country of outlaws, full of jealousy and racism, wrote to BBC introducing himself as warne's mentor and had said that Warne is better. I totally agree with him coz following reasons

    1 Unlike Warne, Murali didn't take banned drugs, so not brave enough like Warne 2. Unlike Warne, Murali was not caught for obscene actions like sending indecent test messages, so Murali is not creative 3. Unlike Warne, Murali didn't take alot of wickets against third rated batsman of England, coz he had to bowl to Zim and Bangladesh coz ICC was granting matches equally. (Even in 1998, when Murali demolished English cricket, they were given only one off test in England after 1991). So Murali is not lucky, so not suitable for a world record 4. Unlike Warne, Murali is smiling with everybody therefore not serious enough character to become a world champ 5. Unlike Warne, Murali was born in Asia

    Thanks Terry and BBC

  • nick on December 7, 2007, 0:24 GMT

    @Travis

    What, only 47 throats? No assassinations? You must be slowing down in your old age. But I am glad we agree that a ration of 20:1 is about right for complaints of unsporting Australian behaviour versus unsporting Sri Lankan behaviour. Sorry about your various complaints, though. Hopefully you can learn to relax, watch Murali demonstrate his wonderful combination of skill and sporting behaviour, and sit in admiration at the greatest spin-bowler the world has seen. So, given that Murali's action has been cleared, repeatedly, and by the scientists in your own green-and-gold-throat-slitting land, how do you explain the repeated attacks on it, if not by spite? Or would answering the question get in the way of your throat-slitting?

  • shiva on December 6, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    hats off to a champion bowler!!! I hate to think that people have branded him a thrower/ shotputter. PLEASE, all u batsmen out there, surely a spinner has no great advantage if he throws. Its time to realise that only fast bowlers actually gain an edge by throwing, even I as an amateur cricketer know that. SO STOP CALLING HIM NAMES AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE MAN!! go Murali go to a thousand and godspeed!!!

  • chamara deeyamulla-university of moratuwa on December 6, 2007, 12:18 GMT

    Vs ENGLAND Mat O R W Ave Econ SR 5 10 Murali 14 985.5 1976 102 19.37 2.00 57.9 7 4 Warne 36 1792.5 4535 195 23.25 2.52 55.1 11 4

    vs windies murali 10 483.4 1214 70 17.34 2.50 41.4 8 3 warne 19 679.4 1947 65 29.95 2.86 62.7 3 0

    hneyb have been told ‘’ Warne has played a significant number of tests against England & w.indies’’ YES,IF THEY (ENGLAND)GIVE MORE MATCHES ,LIKE ASHES EVERY YEAR,MURALI DNT WANT 22 MATCHES TO TAKE 93 WCKTS……….Congrats Murali,you CAN reach the 1000 and more! Murali is the greatest OFF SPINNER....EVER WARNE is the greatest LEG SPINNER......EVER

  • Rahul on December 6, 2007, 6:43 GMT

    Mr Maha...the article suggests that ICC used video evidence to determine that all bowlers are "chuckers". Surprisingly,they say do not have the technology to test bowlers in test match condition, yet they have technology to test bowlers using video. And why has Murali's action not been tested using video evidence like all other bowlers in a match situation?Why only behind closed doors in an university? Why were other bowlers not tested behind closed doors like Murali? Obviously, it was a cover up organised by the ICC and they used "video" evidence to prove all thse who bowl in international cricket are "chuckers" to protect the obvious "chucker". Also "video" evidence of Murali would have proved the difference between his degree of flexion behind closed doors vis-a-vis the degree of flexion during a match situation. Why is Murali not ready to be tested in a match situation? And why is ICC averse to test him in a match situation? Answer is simple. Embarrasment to both the record breaker and the ICC.

  • maha on December 5, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    Useful link to ICC bowling review findings (originally appeared on the independent): http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20041110/ai_n12813303

    Quotation from the article: 'The committee found that many much-admired current bowlers are "chuckers", that is bowling deliveries that are illegal under existing rules, these include Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock, Stephen Harmison and Allan Donald.'

    So it would seem that ICC changed the rules not just to accept murali but also those "clean-cut" orthodox bowlers.

    I also recall reading that the "bouncer" is the most offending ball bowled by a fast bowler with some of the greats often flexing up to 15 degrees.

    What probably infuriates many is that "Murali" saga has exposed an inconvenient truth - almost every bowler is a chucker by its original definition.

  • rext on December 5, 2007, 21:33 GMT

    Some relevant questions. How many more wickets would Warne have taken had he had 8 or 9 batsman to bowl at in each innings instead of the four or five McGrath, Gillespie, Kasprowicz, Lee etc. left him? How many more had he also played 23 Tests against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh instead of 3? How may more if he had not had two years out of cricket, one his own fault, the other due to injury? I like Murali, he seems like a nice guy but he truly has had everything go his way, but how good is he really? We'll never settle that as pathetic opposition, sympathetic pitch preparation at home, rule changes to make what was illegal legal will forever cloud the issue.Is he a chucker? The ICC thought perhaps so and changed cricket to accomodate him.Why did they do that I wonder? I'm certain had it been Warne with the suspect action he would not have had such accomodation!

  • JAYA on December 5, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    277 comments so far !! That must be ANOTHER RECORD for Murali !!

  • Peter on December 5, 2007, 14:36 GMT

    I find it amazing that most of readers who label Murali a chucker would readily accept the verdicts of medical tests performed on themselves should they god forbid require them. Therefore the only conclusions that I can draw is that those who hate Murali will always try to play down his greatness and label him a chucker, where as the rest of us will sing his praises. In my opinion, Murali is the greatest

  • Travis on December 5, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    Congratulations to Murali. His action has been deemed to be legal and therefore his record should be commended. I would have liked to see more of him here in Australia, and I'm hoping he tours here again before he retires.

    ----------------

    (Sarcasm alert)

    Nick, yeah right mate. Australia is a nation of 20 million racist cut-throats and outlaws. I myself slit 47 throats only yesterday. Anybody who questions Murali's action is doing so purely "out of spite" and is merely, as you put it, "a wretched human being without ethics, character, or any trace of sportsmanship" (and therefore OBVIOUSLY Australian even if they claim otherwise, the fiendish cads).

    Not exposing your own prejudices there are you Nick? Oh no. Not at all.

    (/ end of sarcasm)

    Pathetic.

    Number of comments made by above posters denigrating Sri Lankan sporting and moral values: One.

    Number of comments made by above posters denigrating Australian sporting and moral values: Oh, at a rough guess I'd say about 20, wouldn't you agree?

    (Personally, I found it hard to gauge the number accurately, in between my bouts of Tourettes-like spasmodic barking of random racial epithets and incessantly drooling on my green-and-gold keyboard I simply didn't have the time. That, and the fact that I can't count, read, or write.;)

  • Johan Van Der Tank on December 5, 2007, 12:47 GMT

    Rowan, you're right, I really can't wait for these books by the Australians to come out, because then we shall see that they will voice exactly the same opinion as 30% of the posts on this board. Just because it comes from the mouth of someone who plays cricket professionally doesn't make it right. Opinions cannot be right or wrong. The people who found your tennis ball analogy hilarious must have the fun factor of a sponge, because it is not funny and not clever. I'm sure you can spin a tennis ball on concrete if you chuck, but it's not only about the ability to spin the thing. Murali only has a bent elbow; not a bent mind, bent committment or bent attitude, which are all of the highest calibre.

  • anil pr on December 5, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    Though murali will end up being the world record holder.....shane warne will always remain the real hero...coz at the end of the day...when it comes to blackmarks...murali's action has come under the scanner on a number of ocassions while warnie has been under the scanner only for his off field antiques.....So though murali may have the record...shane has the glory!!....

  • nick on December 5, 2007, 10:15 GMT

    Pradeep, I hate to be pedantic, but Australia was not "originated" by cut throats and outlaws. It just happens to be currently inhabited by them. What makes me laugh is the pathetically obvious Aussie posters who have taken fake Indian names so as to try and hide their racism. I say, for the record, that I am English, white as chalk, and I live in terror when Murali bowls at England. The man has been tested and cleared - yes, by an Australian lab - and he is a legitimate and honest bowler, who is a joy to watch. Anyone who has to attack a genius out of spite is a wretched excuse for a human being, without ethics, character, or any trace of sportsmanship. Such people have no genuine interest in cricket, and are merely arrogant boors (and probably cut throats and assassins)!

  • Creaky on December 5, 2007, 7:56 GMT

    The controversy surrounding Murali's action has changed some things about the game of cricket. It has made the cricket world appreciate that rules, laws, are as culturally inflected as the regimes that succeed and fail in the great game. At the moment there is a great battle being fought for control of the game by the India and Australia - Murali is just a bystander to that game - but in the face of all that he has made his name and fortune by taking wickets, always within the rules of the game as they have been applied around him. He is no cheat therefore, as he has done nothing knowingly to gain advantage - and the debate over his 'greatness' is only a dinner party contest played by partial idiots, like Richie Benaud Bishen Bedi, Shane Warne himself, and all the other pathetic pundits (like me).

  • arjun on December 5, 2007, 7:52 GMT

    What a man,what an awesome acheivement.For all those who accuse Murali of chucking,you are completely missing the point.Why are so many, so keen to tear him down??

    Personally i dont believe that he does,and for every armchair critic (as has been pointed out earlier) to say so despite strong scientific backing and research (primarily from aus furthermore) is nothing but a display of luddite stone age thinking.

    The pleasure that he has given his countrymen and the cricketing world is incomparable.He will be a champion for the ages to be admired alongside the likes of Tendulkar,Richards,Lara and Warne.

    There is no doubt that Warne is a champion bowler as well.However the point i think Rob is trying to make is that Murali is a person for us to all look up to and respect.While Warne's deeds on the field are stuff of legend,Murali's entire life is a study in triumph over adversity.

    Congratulations Murali, and thank you for everything that you have given us.Keep going!

    (As an aside to all the aussies complaining about Murali 'cheating', does anyone remember a small incident with Shane Warne and a diuretic?..or maybe the incident with that bookie fellow?Ring a bell perhaps? This isn't a tirade against him.I've loved watching him in action in India,but we forgive our heroes some of their foibles. Except that Murali has never made any of those 'foibles' to require that same kind of reproach.)

  • Rohan C.J. Goonewardene on December 5, 2007, 6:39 GMT

    A living legend. With outstanding men like Murali, we are reminded that sportsmanship, courage and dignity still persists in the world of professional sport.

  • Atapattu on December 5, 2007, 6:32 GMT

    Somebody pointed out that Murali's record in australia is not good enough, that makes warne greater but What about Warne's record against India?

  • Jay Smith on December 5, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    Ok I have read too many absurd comments from some very 'knowledgeable' people here about Murali's action and what not. Sri Lankans support him because hes a Sri Lankan by nationality. Tamils support him because he belongs to that ethnic group from SL. Some Indian/Pakistanis/Bangladeshis support him simply because he is a south asian. Such praises only begs a laughing from people who know what cricket is all about. I congratulate Murali for being a very good bowler for SL and also surpassing Warne's record. However I do agree to some reports pertaining to the inefficiencies in lab tests conducted on suspicious bowling actions.

    Recently a former test cricketer (Geoff Boycott) suggested that there should be 'on-field' bio-mechanic testing during the course of a game to pick 'chuckers'. While I don't completely agree with this idea I do feel the time has come for better ways to decide on a player's action.

    I am not biased towards any nation here but I am tired of the comparisons people draw among great players. For ex, we have had comparisons between Tendulkar/Lara, Murali/Warne, McGrath/Walsh/Ambrose etc which are totally insane and mindless. All of these players are geniuses and if there was a referendum held among themselves then the final say would be 'ALL OF US'. Cricket is the winner due to these gems. I don't care about Warne's personal life as its a crime for me to indulge and speak about that. Same goes to Murali and other great cricketers. Just watch and enjoy them playing a wonderful game.

    Who cares about Benaud or Bedi ? not a sensible cricket fan. Both of them were great cricketers representing their countries in a particular era. Every era had its own greatness. Warne and Murali are pioneers of the modern era and one still leads the way so why all the trash talk ? Keep your racist/biased sentiments inside your closets folks and keep these boards clean of such nasty comments.

    Once again Congrats to Murali for a breathtaking career (chucker or not). His action will always be a topic of debate. Hey even if some of you who feel he chucks.. let me tell ya folks, I tried chucking a cricket ball just like him and believe me "IT AIN'T EASY". So even if he 'chucks' according to you guys.. then its an achievement in itself. Congrates Murali !!!!

  • Sarath Haegoda on December 5, 2007, 4:48 GMT

    I was fortunate to witness the great feat of Murali, crowning as the person who has taken most number of test wickets in the history of the great game of cricket. When former cricketer, Engishman, Fred Trueman set the world record he had expressed the following:

    "Who ever going past 307 scalps would be a bloody tired man."

    This shows, to achieve this target of 709 wickets, how much murali had toiled in the cricket field.

    Different people had different impressions/views about his bowling action. Eventhough, the ICC had cleared him from baseless chucking allegations, still some ignorant people tarnish his image by calling him a chucker.

    As he had already mentioned,if he continuous to play test cricket till 2011 he may achieve a target beyond the reach of any other bowler in world cricket.

    Cammon Murali keep it up!! Cheers!! Congrats!!!

    SH

  • Michael Arnold on December 5, 2007, 1:45 GMT

    As much as anything it has been Murali's delightful demeanour on and off the field that puts him on the pedestal.

    Particularly at a time when the behavior of a number of other high wicket takers has been quite appalling; no names but everyone will know who I mean.

  • WOW on December 5, 2007, 1:41 GMT

    I love to watch both Warne and Murali bowl - someone should invent an RPM meter like the speedo. Love to see great batsmen battle it out against vicious spin that whiz at you like a snake. I am sure all good batsmen would admire their art - and would love the challenge. Reminds me of Steve Waugh.

  • Jon on December 5, 2007, 1:28 GMT

    A brilliant achievement to take the most wickets of all time, but you can't seriously call him the greatest bowler of all time - he has a bowling average of 36 against Australia. Hardly spectactular against a quality batting line-up.

  • Stuart on December 5, 2007, 1:00 GMT

    Salinda, I can't and won't deny any of the issues you've pointed out in which Australia players of the past disgraced the team and the country with there actions.

    But the difference is that Cricket Australia and the vast majority of Australian cricket supporters condemned the actions of all of these players. Warne was banned and kicked out of an, ultimately, winning World Cup team, Warne and Mark Waugh were fined and their reputation will always be affected by the allegations made against them - although I'd like to point out that they were not accused of fixing a match, only of accepting inappropriate money. The same could be said of Greg Chappell, although as I've pointed out, despite the despicable unsportsmanship displayed, it was within the Laws of the game at the time. Those Laws were immediately changed by the ACB following the incident, and Chappell's career came perilously close to a premature end. Further, Chappell has consistently accepted what he did was completely wrong and he has never attempted to justify it.

    Contrast this with Sri Lanka's response to Murali. No remodelling of his action, no acceptance of the umpires decision, no attempt to modify the action and no attempt to prevent future players from copying it, not even any acknowledgement that Murali's action was, to say the least, unusual or suspicious. Just a blanket, hysterical denial and allegations of racism. In fact, whereas countries like Australia and South Africa hold their players to account, Sri Lanka refuses to recognise that any of their players are ever in the wrong. No, it is not a perfect system, and there have been occasions where incidents have gone unpunished. I don't support this, but I can tell you that no player in Australia has been allowed to breach the games' laws and spirity consistently for over a decade.

  • Ruwani Dehami Gunasekera on December 4, 2007, 22:36 GMT

    Dear Murali ayya, Congratulations! I hope you will see this message, we watched every bit of the match when you broke the record. My husband lit a lot of fire crackers. The next day when we were passing Colpitty, a c-vict nutcase asked how to get to Kandy (probably he was going to see the match) we gave him directions towards Matara and had a good laugh.

    Best of luck in your future. RDG

  • kris on December 4, 2007, 22:34 GMT

    To all the cricket lovers, stop this childish bickerings. As someone once said, 'opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got one'. The ruling body has accepted Murali's action, be it for whatever reason, just like it has accepted the Akthars,lees, Mcgraths, Harbajans etc...Degree of flexion is subjective and if anyone has any problems, I am sure they can visit an optician can geta set of corrective lenses so that they can see what they like to see. For the record Murali has achieved a unique distinction and so has warne in their own different ways. So let us celebrate their acheivements. For Rowan and co, did you recently witness the 20-20WC in SA where India & Pakistan did a bowl out in group stage. I am sure you can spin a tennis ball on concrete by chucking but hitting a stumps is a different ball game. Why don't you go out and 'chuck' spin it 6 times on a cricket pitch and let us know how many times you managed to hit the stump!!! It takes more than just skill and wickets to become a champion and it is called 'mental strength' which encompasses qualities like dedication, hardwork, character, effort, attitude, ambition, guile and humility among others. So for people like yourself (the Benauds and the Bedis inclusive), flush your opinions down the loo where it should belongs.

  • Desmond Trotman on December 4, 2007, 22:26 GMT

    Stuart, your hypocrisy is amazing. It is precisely because of Murali's race that a lot of people like yourself seek to discredit his acxhievements. You stand condemned by your choice of words. All, I repeat all of the countries which you alluded to had and still have their mix of performers with dubious actions. And they are competing for places in their national sides. Anyone trying to pretend otherwise is being purely dishonest.

    Murali has has been widely scrutinised by the ICC experts and his action deemed fair. Whether you like it or not that is the situation.

    The point that you AND A LOT OF OTHERS FIND GALLING IS THAT IN SPITE OF THE EFFORTS THAT WERE MADE TO KEEP MURALI OUT OF THE GAME HE PERSEVERED AND SUCCEEDED AND NOW HIS SURPASSING OF WARNE'S RECORD IS A BITTER PILL FOR YOU TO SWALLOW.

    I guess those of us who are not from England, Australia and New Zealand should not be surprised if we now hear a call being made from those countries to the ICC not to recognise Murali's record until another determination of his action is made. For as long as he holds the record people like you will never be satisfied with his action. Well, I am sorry for you, it is something you will have to live with for a long time.

    I believe I speak for most if not all of the Caribbean people who proudly acclaim Murali's achievement and I say to him congratulations, the record is yours. I hope that he has the physical strength to go on to greater heights.

    Desmond Trotman

  • beanbah on December 4, 2007, 22:22 GMT

    Murali has graced and enhanced this great sport and it is a huge achievement for him to break the record.The controversy about his action should be forgotten.It is within the Rules as currently interpreted. End of Story. What should not be forgotten when comparing his record to Warne's is:- a.He has taken over 160 of his wickets against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe b.He has an exceptionally poor record against Australia especially in Australia c.He has had more chance to get wickets in each innings because Sri Lanka does not have the same number of quality bowlers competing for wickets as Australia does. d.He has spent more than half his time bowling on the spin friendly wickets of Sri Lanka (look at Warne's record there)

  • joe on December 4, 2007, 21:53 GMT

    hi; i am sure you all are human beings so it is normal to have differant opinions but please try be gentlemen, accept this great achievement in some way Warne is great and in someother way Murali is great but today murali has broken the world record so I just want to say BRAVO to Murali,keep it up.For all your jeleous, indecent, headless, wicked,and nasty comments shows who are you and where are you comming from.Need i say anything more?

  • Devan on December 4, 2007, 21:00 GMT

    Congrats to Murali! He deserves every bit of honour on his great achievment. I live in Australia and I know how biased these Aussies are!! They have no sportsmanship at all, period! It's funny that they're under the impression that they own the game of cricket and whatever they do is the right way and should be treated as bible. Let me tell you something you ozzie loosers!! Murali didn't sleep with every other girl in the hotel room like Warnie! Murali never took drugs and blamed his mummy like Warnie!! Let's not compare a true hero like Murali to some moron like Warne!!!

    God help ozzies, hope they will fix their acts soon. One word about Richie Benaud...who the @#$% care about who's in his top 11 players. We don't want Murali to be in his list...sorry old man. Hope you'll find your X1 in hell!

  • Anti-Alsch on December 4, 2007, 20:37 GMT

    Hey Alsch, accept the fact, "the truth always prevail". I am not sri lankan, but I am proud of the fact that even though Australians did everything they could under their power to not let Murali reach the milestone, it happend anyways. Who cares if you are upset and by the way Ashley Giles???? man, forget bout greats like Murali and Kumble, our Harbhajan is enough to prove to be better than him. A proud Indian, who is happy for sri lankan cricekter "Murali". Murali has always gotten the tough batsmen out and not tails unlike Shane Warne. Shane Warne confessed against the whole world about Tendulkar, "He gives me nighmares"... And Indian batsmen who are known to be one of the best against spins, who have proven to be the toughest opposition for Shane Warne, even they have been victims of Murali. I, as Indian, always hated that we couldn't play as well against Murali as we do against any top quality spinner in the world, but that just goes to show how great the "Murali" is....

    His record is here to stay, i just wish Kumble also breaks Shane's records and be the second best in the world...

    "South Asia Rules...." And by the way, I wish Sangarkara and the Sri Lankans kick England's b**, and yours too, since it seems like you are too british.

  • Aj on December 4, 2007, 20:20 GMT

    Murali - The Munnabhai of Cricekt" Even though I am an Indian and wish Kumble should be the leading wicket taker, I can not take anything away from a true genius that Murali is. I think, his facial expressions are even enough to destroy the oppositions. Its a shame he couldn't do that in Austraila, but I am glad he finally did it. All the records should be listed in south asia, "Beat those Austrailans in every way possible......" Good Job Murali, the real Munnabhai of cricket (in bowling section)... keep going, congratulation on a huge achievment and wish you get even further....

  • pathum athukorala on December 4, 2007, 20:15 GMT

    who's Bishen sen bedi to comment things about murali..being just an ordianary left arm spinner what wonders has he done for cricket. being a former cricketer means that he can do or say every thing which comes to his stupid mind? yes, some asians, specially who live & work in europe countries, showing respect to the white skin as slaves. they just pretending to be europeans by slamming things like this. i wonder if you ever believe the truth. you people are the real cheaters.

  • spirited aussie on December 4, 2007, 19:59 GMT

    Congrats Murali, I hope you reach the 1000 and more!

    For those from down under who cannot seem to accept this record (very few according to my buds living there), please put your "FOSTERS" down for a second and read on... It takes a lot more than chucking to take 709 wickets. If any of you have actually played the game or bowled a ball in your life, you should know about accuracy, varying your spin, bowling to the field, studying the batsman and attacking on their weaknesses with the correct selection with the proper line and length.... It also takes his team mates to take the catches, stump the batsmen as his victims were not just mere one dimensional straight forward clean bowls. He mesmerizes each batsman differently with his skill, accuracy and fools them with his variations. It takes hard work and talent to achieve this. If this wasn't the case, then any Tom, Dick and Harry would be chucking there way to 700 wickets... This hasn't happened and it's a sentiment apparently Derek Pringle shares with his recent comments, according to an earlier poster.

    For those (mostly my fellow Sri Lankans) who are bringing Warne's personal life off the field into question, should also know that this is about a bowling record and not about who's the nicer guy who did or didn't do what. No one gave their wickets to Murali because he was nice to them, so let's keep it in perspective and acknowledge that Warnie is also a superb bowler. A different kind to Murali, nevertheless a great bowler of our time. We were lucky to see these two in our life time and let's cherish that fact instead of tarnishing the moment. I know you are angry for the others calling Murali a chucker, but none of them called his personal reputation into question, so why you do that with Warne is beyond me.

    A few had written that if Murali played with better bowlers he would have to share the wickets and would be about 300 less by now.. Well may be or may be not... Why? because the opposite also can be argued... To be sole dependent wicket taker of the side also is not an easy way to go about... First of all if the seamers don't break through with the openers/top order, by the time Murali gets to them they should be pretty set to take him on. If not all the batsmen have to do is, to see his overs off without giving their wicket away and attack the rest.. right? So how come he was able to break through their defense and take so many wickets? After all they weren't "softened" by the seamers of McGrath and Brett's quality.

    Also the quality of his victims.... Well, Sri Lanka has no 5 test ashes tours each year. We'd be lucky if others like England gave us more than 2 test series, that too in every 2-3 years. Murali has no control over it, or for that matter where he was born to play cricket. He just went about and took wickets, including of those quality players you refer to, whenever he faced them. Some better than others, but then that's the name of the game. So let's not add dubious reasons and prejudice remarks to tarnish Murali's achievement.

    As for who is the better bowler or the greatest between him and Warne... Well, that is for another time and place, and I am sure it will continue for decades as it should be... Similar to who is better, Bradman or Sobers? For now let's tip our hats to Murali for this tremendous achievement! Spin your way to 1000 scalps!

  • Paul Clarke on December 4, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    I want to be a world class soccer striker.I can whack the ball really hard, but i have no control. So i've made special goal that i insist the opposition uses. It's bigger than a usual goal, but if they don't change the rule and let me use it, i'll go to a University and slowly tap/roll a few balls into the centre of a normal goal to prove I didn't need it anyway. Nice one ICC...you actually messed up the game of cricket to allow one guy to chuck because Sri Lanka weren't progressing as tier one test side like you'd hoped. Shane Warne is number one. Murali - sorry mate in many peoples book you should never have been allowed to bowl a single ball.

  • kirby on December 4, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    To Dave: I agree with your comments re: folks complaining about Australian/Westerners re: chucking charges. The most vocal have been Indian columnists. To Ramana and Jay: Please keep your racist comments to yourself and please keep your hate filled write-ups from these blogs. My parents are of Sinhala and Tamil stock and my extended family is a mix of Sinhala, Tamil and Burgher races. My friends include all of those plus Moslems & Malays. I come from liberal, non-racist stock (as are most Sri Lankans) and I don't hate you because you're a Tamil. I just don't like you because you're a racist. To the Moderator: Please filter comments such as those from Jay and Ramana out of these columns. Hardly objective material, don't you agree? Thanks for giving us the opportunity to comment about Murali and his achievements objectively:-)

  • Seb on December 4, 2007, 19:25 GMT

    Gavin

    Warne may be a confessed drug cheat but he paid a steep penalty for that. What penalty has Murali had to pay for his years and years of being a cheat?

  • Harsha Dayarathne on December 4, 2007, 18:22 GMT

    I don`t need to reiterate. But stats speak for themselves. If Murali has taken some 25% of his wickets against minnows , that is because , in world cricket 25% teams are "minnows" . I don`t want to run down Warney but look at his record against so called "Minnows"(His last series against Bangladesh).And if Murali chucks, how come better players always play him better. One comment about Aussies: They may be jealous(Not everyone though) but they pushed our case when we wanted to get ICC full membership. And our cricketing structure still depend on them for coaches, Doctors, etc. (And they have done bloody well )If Murali has done well, part of the credit should also go to Dave Whatmore and Bruce Yardly.Finally Let`s hopewe win the test Match Tomorrow and then celebrate Murali , the greatest bowler ever.(be it stats or Magic)

  • Andray on December 4, 2007, 18:05 GMT

    really, if Murali was an Australian the treatment wouldn't be the same and if Warne not an Australian he would have retired years ago. The reality of life we will critized at all time no matter what, but the fact is History as been already written no matter wat we all say. Murali & Warne, a champion no matter what we say and do. The Australian once made remarks they don't play for record, which is a lie cause they do. If a bowler dominates them they consider him as chuckin or something. Australia, should know that not forever they will be at the top, everything is just for a matter of time. Again, congrat to Murali...

  • Philip Gnana on December 4, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    Refer to Shawry... The 15 degree tolerance was extended to accommodate Glen McGrath and Shaun Pollock and their likes.... Not to accommodate Murali. Murali's stock delivery does not extend beyond 2 degrees but McGraths and rest does extend beyond the 10 degree tolerance. Let's face it. Mcgrath's wickets were all illegal. ...'cos he is an Aussie no one wants to attack him.. shame.. shame.. shame... shame on you the aussies..

  • Philip Gnana-Muttu on December 4, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    Murali... You have almost single handedly carried Sri Lanka through these years. You have never taken pot shots at the rest of the bowlers who have had their actions tested neither have you questioned those who have extended their elbows beyond the 10 degree tolerance.

    You have have been a true sportsman. Congratulations. During the Asian Tsunami you even took the risks and went to visit the northern areas along with your fellow Sri Lankan cricketers. Who know you may be the ambassador that little Sri Lanka needs to bring peace!!!!. This is what Sri Lanka needs at the moment. Your record may it be dedicated to peace.

    God bless you Murali.

    PhilipGnana New Malden Surrey

  • L Smith on December 4, 2007, 17:28 GMT

    A tragic day for cricket. The chucker may be a nice chap but his example has already started to pollute the ranks of young cricketers, the world over some of whom, who will not have the advantage of political correctness on their side.

  • Morgan Gibson on December 4, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    One cannot say Murali is better than Warne. To counter the above arguments against Warne one can say that Murali never had to compete with another great bowler for wickets (McGrath), he bowled far more often than not on pitches that were tailor-made for him and he played a hell of a lot against mediocre opposition.

    You know what though... It is very difficult to separate the two. Let us just be grateful for experiencing two wonderful and very different spin bowlers during the same era. Thankyou to both for the entertainment and congrats to Murali! you will likely get to 1000.

  • Fahad Khan on December 4, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    I think Muralidaran is a great cricketer and the record speaks for itself. The people accusing him of "chucking" (mostly Australians who cannot digest the fact that someone from a poor country with nominal cricketing facilities beat the record of Warne) are conveniently leaving out a lot of facts in their "analysis". The rules were changed because by the old rules everyone including McGrath would be guilty of chucking. I wish Muralidaran the best.

  • anjana on December 4, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    Those who comment on murali's cheap wickets against zim and bangledesh...what abt all the cheap wickts that warne got agianst england....if SL played same amount of tests as AUS did...Murali wud be at 1000 wicktes now.... Just check out his average agianst them and my god he took 16 wkts in 1 match in englad....so warne had one of the most wicket feedin nastions throught out his career in abandon....so warne may be the one wo actualy got cheap wickets....do u think???? but i dont see it as that way anyways.... all wickets r important...let it be england that fed warne or bangaldesh that fed murali...just appreciate wat they both accomplished

  • anjana on December 4, 2007, 16:07 GMT

    BACK at ROWAN..... dude who cares if u hv a gf from sudan...who cares if u hv talked to sum cricketers...who cares that u tell all aussies think murali chuck....and finaly who the hell cares wif u can spin the ball on a damn concrete..lol....but i do care that u r being so stupid amd naive and probably brainless to think that u can out think and out see all the scientists and all the high tech equipment and testing that proved murali's action legit...so pls just think b4 u go bla bla bla.... and just let murali do the bowlin and takin wickets...and let all the other fans around the world who appreciate murali hv thier moment...u just go and spin ur ball man.. and dude the rules of ICC wasnt changed to accept murali alone...ONLY murali's doosra exceeded the limit....but all teh deliveries of ur precious Mcgrath and Bret Lee had flexion more than the limit in all deliveries (i do appreciate them for what they r..very gud fast ballers and specialy lee as a sportsman...no offense to them)...So pls talk to ur cricketers...talk to ur job partners...but pls do get the facts straight...pls dont just come here and go bla bla and lie ur jealosy out...gud day to u ROWAN..

  • Dr Wignarajah on December 4, 2007, 15:59 GMT

    Murali is not only a great cricketer, he is also a great man who bridges all ethnic divides. When he finishes with cricket he should consider following in the foot steps of his great mentor,Arjuna. Congrats murali.We just ADORE you.

  • EASTHAM F/BAD BOYS on December 4, 2007, 15:39 GMT

    REAL CHAMPION ,GENIUS,LEGEND, MR.CRICKET OUR MURALI

  • NP,JK,GJ,ASN FAMILY on December 4, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    MR.CRICKET WELL DONE SIR

  • Carlyle on December 4, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    There seem to be too many armchair critics with opinions that make no difference to the facts and that is that the ICC, the ruling body of world cricket, have cleared Murali's action as being legal. To dispute this is stupid and meaningless. MURALI is no doubt the greatest bowler of all time.Congrats mate....looking foward to seeing you take that 1000th wicket. We all love you.

  • Sheethal on December 4, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    Shane warne is the best & muruli is nowhere nearer to him. He has taken some 180 odd wickets against zimbabawe & bangladesh & taken most of wickets in srilanka on dusty pitches ( 480 wickets) whereas Warne has done very well everywhere except INDIA. Warne has only played 3 match agianst zimbabwe & bangladesh.... Murali has very very poor record against AUSTRALIA & INDIA & evn poorer record in AUSTRALIA whereas WARNE has done very well everywhere except against INDIA since INDIANS are the best players of spinners. SHANE WARNE is the GENIUS.........

  • A.A.Ahamed Afker on December 4, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    If Murali will play for Aus,Eng,NZ or Ind then he will be the great bowler ever ,but he is playing for SL that is why some unknowledgeable people(about Cricket) saying he is chucker.Bishen says Murali is Jweling Thrower but no body knows how he bowled.May be he is a real chucker but not the Murali.Murali is cleared by the ICC which is the utmost organisation for the Cricket,and also which was (testing) done in Australia not in Sri Lanka.If Murali chucks then his all the Wkts are illegal.Then why ICC agreed that his all the Wkts are legal.If so Bedi,Jey or Rowen can take the legal action against the ICC.Why are U not doing that???.......Reply is simple Murali is not chucker and his wkts are legal. Shane congrate Murali as a true sportman,actually spiner only the right person to talk about another spinner.In that case Shane agreed about the Murali's record.That is true sportmanship.Nobody knows when 1st time Shane used drug,even in 1st Test itself,but no one knows.But as for me he is one of the Greatest bowler in history of Cricket.Murali is the greatest ever.That is true no one deny.I hope he create new world record geting 1000 wickets.

  • James Gordon on December 4, 2007, 14:32 GMT

    He has got out a whole lot of batsmen who did not use their feet enough. He said it himself: Warne had more movement in the air. Murali is harder to pick. Bowling overarm is for many an oxymoron. Warne gave the impression he bowled. I find Murali unreadable, in the sense of as I sit in the critic's chair. I am bamboozled. I am more interested in the air and grass than many critics, as well, while Murali is a curator's bowler. Weather forecasters I think would prefer Warne. He pushed the understandable to its limits. He communicated with the people who bowled more often with a real cricket ball on a backyard pitch done with a light roller. I bowled legbreaks, on some decent ovals, and I think they have to come out of the other side of the hand.

  • An Aussie In Colombo on December 4, 2007, 14:23 GMT

    First, to the Australians out there:

    Let it go guys! Let’s be honestly and look at this subjectively – sure Warne was a great bowler – most certainly the greatest leg-spin bowler the world has ever seen. But let’s not get too caught up on the semantics here. If we’re going to talk about illegal actions, I can mention far more than one action that Warne took in his career that were deemed to be illegal, either by the ACB, the ICC or, in fact, a court of law.

    Murali’s got the record and we should applaud him for that – he’s a fine bowler, and yes, he is a bowler under the law as it now stands. Sure, there’s an argument which states that the wickets he took before the law was changed should be deemed null and void, but at the same time, we should consider such repercussions if other such rules were applied retrospectively.

    When do we know that Bogan-boy wasn’t on the pills Mum gave him? How many of those wickets are legal? Shall we go through the record again with a fine-toothed comb? What about the ones when he and Afghanistan were hanging out with the bookies?

    Honestly, you’re just sounding like a bunch of kids who didn’t like the umpire ruling and you want to take your bat and go home. And in all honestly, comparing a leg-spin bowler to an off-spin bowler is a lot like comparing a heart surgeon to a landscape gardener.

    Have the class and fortitude to stand up, accept the umpires’ decision and applaud a man who truly should be lauded as a champion. And stop being such embarrassingly bad sports!

    Now, to the Sri Lankans out there:

    Good God – where do I start? Racism – let’s talk about that – your papers accuse almost anyone or everything you don’t agree with as being racist. Wake up and smell the hoppers, guys. This is probably the most racist country in the world.

    Calling “no-ball” when someone bowls is not racist. It’s a crowd asserting that they think the play is cheating. Sure, they may be wrong. I’m almost certain that Sir Richard Hadlee is not a “wanker” but many crowds asserted him to be one. Calling Australians “convicts” and West Indians “the White Mans’ slaves” is exceptionally racist. And that happens all the time. ALL THE TIME!

    You can’t go hiding under the cover of calling someone racist forever. Look at your treatment of the second best umpire of the current age – Rudi Koertsen. He gave Sangakarra out caught off the helmet. Sure – all umpires make mistakes. But you guys got him dropped and demanded two umpires of an acceptable skin colour! Honestly, Sri Lanka as a nation of cricket lovers, should be ashamed.

    And then to see that when Murali took Vaughan’s wicket and it was described as a “faint edge”? He missed it by miles as the replays clearly show. Come on – you called the most sportsmanlike player in the world a “cheat” for appealing for a catch that was is almost exactly the same circumstances just a month ago. Yet Vaughan’s wicket was described as “a great catch”.

    Thanks to (whatever God/s you hold dear) that you have such wonderful and gracious ambassadors for cricket in this country as Murali, Sangakarra and Mahela. They are wonderful sportsmen who truly appreciate the spirit and the context of the game. But, honestly, most of the country should feel ashamed. It’s time for Sri Lanka to grow up and never use the word “racist” again, unless it is to condemn their own media.

  • Shaun on December 4, 2007, 14:10 GMT

    This is a legacy of spineless inaction due to the the Sri Lankan approach of claiming to be the innocent victim (witness the 1995/96 Australian tour where the Sri Lankan team blamed the australian team for the chucking controversy and ball tampering). THis time they got the rule changed to suit a "bowler" who is ably supported by a team of flat track bullies and an attack that struggles against qualtiy batting. Give the ball to Murali for half the innings and let him pick them off gradually - provided you get the top order out which did not happen against Australia.

    Back in the 1950s, the fear of chuckers blighting the game saw the introduction of the front foot rule to combat against back foot drag by exponents such as Rorke and Meckiff (both Australian but not by any means alone). What happens today - politics take precidence amid potential accusations of racism by threatening to uphold the virtues of the great sport. The same mentatility will see the pursuit of the cheap dollar with 20/20 cricket rather than lift the standards of the underperforming nations in Test Cricket.

  • COLOMBO-02 SRILANKA on December 4, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    THE GOD OF CRICKET MURALI probably will not be broken by anybody atleast to another 100 YEARS.well done SIR.

  • Roshan on December 4, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Hey Rowan.. Mate I can understand your comments and what you’re going through.

    I know a lot of Aussies coz i have to work with them through my job. I think the aussies are a great bunch of ppl and i love your country... but sadly the same cannot be said about their attitude towards sport. It’s pretty evident that all you BLOKES from downunder are really upset that someone else other than a white boy has yet another cricketing record (errrrr.. come to think of it most cricket records are held by Asian teams).

    Rowan you need to stop forming your opinion based on comments made by bias Australian cricketers, come on mate, other than for you aussies no one else even likes your arrogant cricketers. So please stop displaying your stupidity and ignorance to the whole world by making ill informed daft statements. Find out what other great bowlers like Wasim Akram etc.. has to say about the matter.

    Today was a defining day in cricket where the bowling record was returned to its rightful owner, the same manner the batting record was returned to the great Lara sometime back.

    So Rowan cheer up mate and applaud the greatness of the Greatest Bowler to Ever Walk the Face of the Earth. Well done Murali Ayya…!!!!!!

  • hinducollege col-4 OLD BOYS on December 4, 2007, 13:46 GMT

    WELL DONE BRO we salute you MR.KING OF CRICKET

  • CAPITAL CARS southkenton on December 4, 2007, 13:32 GMT

    THE RECORD MOUNTAIN we salute you great murali.very proud to be a srilankan in uk.

  • Rick on December 4, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    Murali's records should be removed from the books. He has always thrown the ball allowing him to generate far more spin than is possible from a legal action. The only reason why some of his deliveries are now technically legal is that the Asian-biased ICC changed the rules to accommodate him. A quite ridiculous situation that should never have been allowed to happen. To my mind, Warne remains the greatest spinner and highest wicket taker of all time.

  • Mohammod on December 4, 2007, 13:14 GMT

    Gavin, records are there to be broken and in years to come Murali's record will also be broken. Probably through Murali's detriment as ICC have allowed bowlers to bend there arm now!

    Gavin, Warne took a diuretic pill which is NOT A PERFORMING ENHANCING DRUG! Its just because he is fat and likes to look his best for all his women friends. He is a little self conscious so try not to hurt his feelings. It did not contribute to his 708 test wickets, it made it worse!

  • suresh p thomas on December 4, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    dear gavin...as for shane warne's drug abuse, shudnt a player's morality be based just on how he plays. Does being a drug addict take away anything from the way he shane used to make his leggies dip and turn? if u r inclined to use the word cheat, then isnt murali the real cheat as a sportsman? how can u justify his chucking otherwise?

  • Raven on December 4, 2007, 12:39 GMT

    Well done, great work.

    Where's Warnie.... texting the bar chick, having a threesome in his undies or taking drugs from his mum... dunno

    Where's Mcgrath .... in a farm, and calling Asian's "Black Monkey" or having a cry

    Where's Howard.... i forgot... he lost to labour and had to leave Kiribilli...

    C'mon Aussie c'mon.. what a nation, greatest unsporting nation in the world, wouldnt care to bet on ya mum for a horse race.... when was the last time they appreciate some one else's sporting achievement, let me think NEVER

  • Dave Williums on December 4, 2007, 12:38 GMT

    It is unbelievable how some people cannot stomach that the greatest ever spin bowler of the world just broke the world bowling record. The coments show how low the people can go and no wonder why we have so much trouble in the world withso many people who are either purely biased for their own reasons or simply not cleverenough to understand simple statistics and logic.

  • Gavin Nicholas on December 4, 2007, 12:31 GMT

    To Murali, Records will come and go, there is no doubt in many people's mind that you record will live on for generations to come, I am privlidged to have seen you bowl in melbourne. I hope all the people who have doubts about you some day realise that your record will never be scrapped from the record books and that it is here to stay. The sooner they realise the better for the game. Just on Shane Warne why does his records still stand when he is a confessed drug cheat ? Somebody please respond to this Good luck on your quest to a 1000 test wickets, i am proud to call myself a sri lankan today. God Bless You

  • alsch on December 4, 2007, 11:52 GMT

    Wow, just goes to show that cheats do prosper after all. Imagine where Sri Lanka would be if the ICC were brave enough to call a chucker a chucker. Somehow Sri Lanka are given leeway, Malingas action isnt exactly flawless either is it? And I think even Ashley Giles would break the record if he had that many games against third-rate opposition. Regardless of the record, Warne is still the best bowler of all time. P.S. I am not Australian.

  • sureshpthomas on December 4, 2007, 11:51 GMT

    and Rob, its amazing that u ve the nerve to call the most dilutted bowler(?..chucker) as an undiluted champion. mazeltov!!!

  • suresh p thomas on December 4, 2007, 11:47 GMT

    It is perhaps the greatest tragedy that this great game of cricket has known.That someone who has never bowled even one legitimate delivery ( forget the doosra, he chucks even his offies) cud own the world record for most scalps is , in simple terms , disgraceful. shane warne is right: Murali's action should be tested in match conditions rather than in mechanicised laboratory conditions. Mazeltov Rob! for paying glowing tributes to a chucker.

  • pushparaj london-chilaw on December 4, 2007, 11:20 GMT

    well done mura.good luck.god bless you

  • SOUTHKENTON off licence on December 4, 2007, 11:10 GMT

    real champion,legend,genius in bowlling one & only SPIN DOCTOR THE ALL TIME GREAT MURALI.

  • Nandanie on December 4, 2007, 10:45 GMT

    Murrali says: You can't compare us. We are totally different bowlers. But Warne was a very special bowler

    "Congratulations to Murali - he's been a wonderful player for a long period of time," Warne said. "He's an excellent competitor and has been great for Sri Lankan cricket. He's a great bloke too. He'll probably go on and get 1000 now but today I'd just like to say ' well done on the record '."

    if both have no problems why is "Rowan" after Murali????????????

  • pawan on December 4, 2007, 10:27 GMT

    finally we know now that England can achieve something within 3 days which the Australians could not manage to achieve for a span of ten days of test cricket. You guessed it right: it is crowning Mutthaih the World's highest wicket taker :)

  • Nadun on December 4, 2007, 10:01 GMT

    In one place of this article its mention Murali as “tigerish Tamil” .I don’t know what exactly Rob Steen try to mean. But I think this not the word which he should have use. He shoudent have mention him as tamil but as Sri Lankan. And when you use tigerish with tamil it definetly miss lead peopole

  • vijikaran southall on December 4, 2007, 9:43 GMT

    hi muraletharan good luck

  • km on December 4, 2007, 9:36 GMT

    first of all... 709 is BIG... a great feat. however all the fools out there talkin about warne's personal life and his affairs with women need to understand that we are talkin about CRICKET here... so stop being such idiots and post yur views on the game and not who shane warne was msging...

    also whatever warne did away from the field is nobody's business... so stay out of that... and dont say murali is better because hes humble or whatever... cricketers are not playing because of their manners, they're playing because of their skill... so stick to that.

    lastly i enjoy watchin murali bowl however his action is dubious, period. dont tell me abt shoiab or lee, its plain and simple that no matter what murali is benefitted by his deformity.. so all u murali buffs dont come out here and refute that coz its out there for us all to see..

  • Champika on December 4, 2007, 9:35 GMT

    People say Murali got advantage because Sri Lanka didn't have Mcgrath kind of bowler to take away his wickets. But they forgot that in most cases especially during 90's Sri Lanka lost most of the test matches by an innings. This means it was a loss of opportunity for Murali to bowl in a second innings and get more wickets. Where as In Warne's case, Australia won many matches by innings giving Warne the opportunity to bowl in both innings.

    Murali deserves this record for all that hard work especially considering all that baseless chucking allegations and endless testings.

    Well Done Murali!!! ... You can go beyond 1000!!.. We have witnessed one of the GREATEST RECORDS in cricket!!! ... Congratulations & Keep it Up!!

  • Mark on December 4, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    Success in any team sport is measured by how often your team wins-in fact the truly great players don't care about their personal results, just the teams results. The greatest bowlers should be judged accordingly-how often did they lead their team to victory?

  • Richard on December 4, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    "Well done Murali!! Congrats. and to all the Aussies who can't handle it ... no one care's .... you're all convicts, decended from thieves, murderers and rapists .. which is exactly what you did to the origonal Aborigonal inhabitants of your continent."...Mr Rehan your comment shows your ignorance about Australia and the fact that your language shows that you come from an ancestory which you accuse all the aussies to have. In case you want to debate, then please do so by putting across some rebuttals rather than making remarks which show what a pathetic person you are.

  • Paulie Galtieri, Boston USA on December 4, 2007, 9:12 GMT

    A tainted record. It's no use comparing Warne's record to Murali's because Murali's is always tained by favorable home pitches and the fact that he threw the ball while Warne bowled. He should be made to carry an asterisk against his record.

    As for charges of racism against him - garbage. He only got where he is today because of racism - that weird inverse racism of overcompensation. It was Sri Lanka who played the race card in Australia in 1996 and it was the desperate need of the ICC to kow tow to the Subcontinental money interests which own cricket which got the laws changed twice to accomodate him. I think a lot of people speaking on this forum defending him love the color of his skin better than they love the game of cricket.

    The fact that the player he swindles out of their wickets aren't allowed to speak out against him is equally shameful.

  • Nayanta Pandita on December 4, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    Hi Stewart, You have stated a very interesting fact - in that part of the world where you come from - players are made to play according to the rules - and man I've got to tell you that your rules are bloody filthy: -underarm bowling - trevor chappel -performance enhancing drugs - shane warne - he was allowed much more than to step into playing field - wasnt he? -racist remarks - lehman, mcgrath -cheating - entire aussie team - robbing sanga of a double century by false appealing -are squash balls part of your rules too? -unethical - winning at any cost attitude for sure the day the aussies win the "Spirit of Cricket Award" is the day we need to re-award the gold medal to ben johnson.

  • shehan on December 4, 2007, 8:14 GMT

    ok rowan, lets put the whole issue of race aside even though i feel your parading of the fact that you have a sudanese girlfriend has more to do with achieving approval from people other than with affiars of the heart but i could be wrong and im not afraid to admit it like you in regards to murali's action.i ask you what more does the man have to do to appease the skeptics that you have mentioned in the australian team not that i give their opinion much thought or regard but as the old adage goes we all have one. wasnt murali tested rigorously in the very country that houses the majority of his detractors? even ian healey believes his action is legal. why dont you just accept him for what he is? a wizard of spin. shane warne who seems to be the undisputed king bowler should take a lesson or two from murali and keep his name on peoples lips for his performances on the field and not on mobile phones and the like.

  • Callan on December 4, 2007, 8:13 GMT

    Murali is fantastic at what he does - he has a great record and now has the most test wickets of all time so congratulations Murali.

    However, the ICC should have done more to change Murali's action because a cricket bowler should jog/run in and bowl with one action and follow through but Murali does not. I blame the ICC for not doing enough. Warne may have re-ignited spin bowling but Murali may have changed how we play the game of cricket for ever which I am not sure is a good thing. I see more future bowlers bowl spin because they can now slightly bend their arm when bowling which will of course create more spin. These are the rules that the ICC have created so because of Murali, a new breed of bowlers will be coming through the ranks and in time could be just as good or greater than Murali. Warne played the game when bowling was just bowling. Bowling now and in the future should be called slightly chucking.

    When Warne was on fire, no batsmen could get near him. I did not see Murali dominate a spell to the same degree as Warne. However, Murali was more consistent.

  • Asoka Goonawardena on December 4, 2007, 7:54 GMT

    Murali has done it for Sri-Lanka . We are all proud of his achievement. The most upset are people like, Darrel Hair,Benaund,Bedi who is a mouth piece for Australians. All Indians have held Murali as the greatest bowler cricket has known, except for Bedi,He has no sayu in world cricket. Maurali will get his 1000 wickets before he retires and train another smiling assasin for Srilanka. Benaund only see Australians as greats. Darrel Hair has earneda reputation as a cheat, so his opinion is not worth at all. Murali you just carry on till you reach the 1000 wickets. All the very best to you

  • jay on December 4, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    WHY don't SRILANKA play ONLY ZIM AND BANG in the next 5 years....?

    Murali will SURELY GET TO 1000 "chuck"ets...!

  • jay on December 4, 2007, 7:45 GMT

    Murali is a TAMILIAN. So all Sinhalese, stop the racist hatred that you shower upon all the other Tamils in your little island, if you want to OWN MURALI as a TRUE SON OF LANKA.

    But, you know what....? THE IDIOT CHUCKS. AND THAT IS TRUTH AT ITS VERY BEST.

  • jan4cricket on December 4, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    To 'Tennis Ball' Rowen,

    1. We don't care how many corporate events u have been to

    2. We already know how most Aussies Wussies (including those on the Cricket team & of course umpires) feel about Murali.

    So don't waste your timing explaining to us the Aussie mindset on Murali!

    To me both Murali AND Warne are great bowlers & to see them in action in the same era was a privilege.

    I would never think of discrediting Warne because of his off the field exploits or usage of banned substances cause at the end of the day he was the greatest leg spinner the world have ever seen.

    But the way some (or most) Aussies are treating Murali is Pathetic.

  • Colin on December 4, 2007, 7:28 GMT

    Congratulations Murali, and may there be very many more wickets, and offies that just skid. And thank you, Rob Steen, for a post worthy of the undiluted champion that Murali is. Cricket is all the better for having both of you, in your different ways, on the scene.

  • Sarath Haegoda on December 4, 2007, 7:08 GMT

    It was obvious that sooner or later the Murali would break the record of great Shane Warne. Similarly, it is olso obvious that no bowler would be able to break the record of Murali what ever amount of wickets he bags before his retirement from the test cricket. I congratulate him for his great achievement.

  • Rowan on December 4, 2007, 6:24 GMT

    Typical responses from blinded chucker supporters. I've been to a lot of corperate events (I work for a sponsor of the cricket team) and I've spoken to a few of the aussie players including a few retired ones and most of them agree that murali chucks! But they have been told to never say what they really think to the general public and esp. to the media! Gillie was told off once for saying the truth but sent an apology quickly to murali saying be didnt mean it. Just wait in about 10 years, when murali retires and the current old aussie players retire and write books, their true feelings about murali will be known.

    Also, I've spoken to two players (current) and they find my analogy about the tennis ball hilarious. They agree, anybody can pitch the ball on the same spot and move the ball at 45deg if they chuck. Also if you stretch your elbow and develop strong muscles, you can make the ball go the other way also ie the doosra.

    You might think I'm racist, but my girlfriend is from sudan (ie dark skin) but I am not, I just dont like cheaters. Like I dont like actors in soccer/football. I, just like you all obviously, am very passionate about sport, in particular, cricket.

    So what I said originally still stands. Murali is a chucker, I think it, the aussie crickets think it, the test done proved it (I know the laws were changed, who were they changed for??) and hey a heck of a lot of people all over the world think he chucks. Dont be narrow minded, as I know a heck of a lot of people think he doesnt chuck. But you dont hear me screaming their head off or counterattacking them. And I can spin the ball on concrete, really I can, I bet you can also. I was able to do it when I was 6-7 yo, playing cricket on the road.

  • B S Dilshan Perera on December 4, 2007, 6:16 GMT

    CONGRATULATIONS MURALI !!! Our heartiest greetings and blessings to you for bringing a massive victory and recognition to Sri Lanka. Wish you all the very best in your future endeavors and Success!

  • Badman on December 4, 2007, 6:16 GMT

    GJ murli...now to get 1000 :D

  • Nafly on December 4, 2007, 5:48 GMT

    Hey Rowan, I guess u r an aussy supporter who even don’t even have a legend behind them. You all are gypsies gathering from all over the world.

    Any way I knw it still hurts for u b’coz he broke warnes record.But what I saw to this world is true gentleman will admit the sportsmanship and the ability of murali. Since u aren’t u will not.

    Rowan you also should see this

    Warne 145 matches 708 wickets avg 25+

    Murali 116 matches 710 wickets avg 21+

    Yes it’s a shame to Murali to compare him with warne.Since warne is no where near murali’s achievement.

    You are correct on that man.

  • B Sathyajith Dilshan Perera on December 4, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    CONGRATULATIONS MURALI !!! Our heartiest greetings and blessings to you for bringing a massive victory and recognition to Sri Lanka. Wish you all the very best in your future endeavors and Success!

  • frednork on December 4, 2007, 5:43 GMT

    Warne Murali, Murali Warne. Two different bowlers, two differnt types of spin, two different teams, two differnt records. all in the same era. I enjoyed watching both, both when they were on top and both when the batsmen were on top. Congrats to Murali for getting the record. records are there to be broken. as for who is better - is a mater of opinion, and will never be settled, bu it makes for an interesting arguement!

  • Rehan on December 4, 2007, 5:42 GMT

    Well done Murali!! Congrats. and to all the Aussies who can't handle it ... no one care's .... you're all convicts, decended from thieves, murderers and rapists .. which is exactly what you did to the origonal Aborigonal inhabitants of your continent. Go have a hard look at yourself (and Brett lee's action) before you start whingeing about a great player such as Murali.

  • Deshan on December 4, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    Murali has made his country proud. He is the greatest spin bowler to ever had played the game. We are all lucky and privileged to see such a special bowler in action in our lifetime. as for the comments made accusing him being a chucker, well dean johns a former Australian great who also was skeptical was proven wrong when murali proved the world his bowling action when he bowled with a inflexible cast on his bowling arm in colombo. If this feat was achieved by a westerner, all these skeptics surely would have different views as racism is still a part of society. Warni is also a great bowler but murali is way ahead as a human being.

  • chamara on December 4, 2007, 5:04 GMT

    who is the best in ever..... Murali v All other teams with out zim & ban Tests93- Wickets 547- Average23.79-5WI 45-10WM 15 warne vs all other with out zim & ban Tests142-Wicket 691-Average25.42-5WI 36 -10WM 10 difference between murali & warne without zim&ban 49 144 -9 -5 murali-Zim and Bang tests23 Wckets163 Average14.57 5WI 16- 10WM 5 warne -Zim and Bang tests 3 Wckets17 Average25.05 5WI 1 10WM 0

    can murali take 149 wickets in 49 test matches(3.0408163 wickets per match) with out playing against zimbabwe and bangladesh?. but he had taken 547 wickets in 93 matches(5.8817204 wickets per match)with out playing zimbabwe and bangladesh.....

  • MAXWELL on December 4, 2007, 5:04 GMT

    Murali, I salute u for showing what cricket is all about, it is not only success, but sportsmenship, humble, kind, prudent, courage etc. you have brought pride to this small country. Congratulations for being a true Sri lankan. Don't worry about the negative comments u get, because they are really really jelous being an asian. Be couragious!We Sri Lankans are always with u . God Bless Murali.

  • Rikaz Sheriff on December 4, 2007, 4:52 GMT

    Please Cricinfo Statisticians I have two requests... 1) Please show in Warne vs Murali how they compare in terms of wickets taken against the top six batters against all nations except Zim and Bangla 2) Please show who else was shown to have more than 10 degrees of elbow flexion in that multi bowler flexion study a few years back. I seem to remember "Pigeon" and "White Lightning" were in that list... Please Cricinfo lets put this to rest.

  • Andy on December 4, 2007, 4:52 GMT

    Whilst I'm sure there are _some_ people who are anti-Murali because of his colour, race or nationality, anyone who assumes that everyone who criticises him, and/or does not fete him is a racist hatemonger is guilty of the bigotry that they accuse others of.

    The laws of cricket have long had provisions for "bowling" versus "chucking", and calling someone a chucker has *always* been controversial.

    The Australian Ian Meckiff was sensationally no-balled during a test match in the 1960, whereupon his captain (Richie Benaud) immediately withdrew him from the attack, and he did not bowl again in the match. In fact, he retired from all forms of cricket at the end of the match.

    Compare and contrast this to what happened when Murali was no-balled in Australia by Darryl Hare - he changed ends, and the other umpire did not call him. Meanwhile, Darryl Hare was accused of racism and everything under the sun, and a few years later, the ICC - headed by an Australian no less - went on to hang Hare out to dry, removing him from their elite Umpiring panel and leaking his private email to the press.

    Chucking is not a new issue, and it has never been easy to resolve. The only way to judge has been the naked eye, and to the naked eye, most bowling actions "look" fine. But for questionable actions, you can easily have two intelligent and impartial people who come to a different conclusion as to its legality.

    Even Murali's most ardent supporters have to agree that to the naked eye, his action looks dodgy.

    The ICC initially tried to resolve this, by introducing technology. But it opened a Pandora's Box.

    At the time, the Laws of Cricket said that it was a no-ball if during the final delivery stride, the arm straightened, either partially or completely.

    It turned out that most bowlers straightened their arms to some degree, with faster bowlers doing it more, so they were almost(?) all technically chuckers.

    So the ICC tried to allow straightening, but to bring in different amounts (5, 10, 15 degrees) of bend, according to their speed.

    But all this went bust, and now we have a crazy rule that allows for 15 degrees of straightening for everyone, no matter how fast or how slow.

    This change to the rules irks purists, who feel that it has been done to accommodate Murali, who was tested and found to bend at something slightly less than 15 degrees. Rather coincidental, they suggest.

    But aside from the politics of it, I defy anyone with a naked eye to judge if a bowler straightens by 15 degrees (and is therefore legal), or 16 degrees, which is not. You can't tell, so the politically smart thing for an Umpire to do is not report someone. And this is bad for the game.

    Bringing in a process whereby Umpires silently report bowlers, so they can go off and be tested is the only pragmatic way out of this. But you still have a situation where you can not *guarantee* that a bowler bowling in a laboratory, and being cleared, subsequently bowls the same way in a test match, under the pressure and tension of a real match with tiredness and fatigue setting in.

    Until we get some sort of non-invasive biometric testing which can be done during the match itself, this issue will not be resolved. And recently, some cricketers have said exactly this.

    None of this is Murali's fault of course.

    He has been cleared by biometric testing, and under the current laws of the game, his action is legal. But in days gone by, being judged with the naked eye, he would have been thrown out of the game - regardless of his race. There are plenty of other players who had this happen to them, or all colours and nationalities.

    You can argue about whether or not Murali's figures are inflated by substandard opposition, friendly home pitches, having no bowling rival (and so thereby taking most of the wickets in an innings, but also having to shoulder the whole attack largely single-handed), whether he is a better bowler than Warne/Marshall etc, and you can make points either way. And that's all good clean fun.

    Only Murali's most unfair critics would suggest that his record is solely due to his "questionable" action. This fails to acknowledge the athleticism and effort required to bowl as much, for so long, and to consistently bamboozle a large number of very fine batsmen, not to mention his humble demeanour and modesty in amongst all the controversy.

    Praising Murali does not imply damning Warne. And vice versa. Criticizing Warne's character or off-field indisgressions does not lessen his achievements on it. He was a cricketing genius, albeit a flawed one. And as Murali himself has acknowledged, he has a brilliant cricketing brain. All the adulation does not make up for the price he paid for his mistakes, when he did not get given the Australian captaincy, which he wanted most of all.

    The problem, is that Murali has become the lightning rod for the whole intractable chucking mess. No matter which way the ICC decides, they will upset a group of people who passionately care about cricket. And the actions of the ICC have left them open to charges that they have been kowtowing to a powerful Asian block, due to the enormous financial clout and the ramifactions of upsetting them.

    Andy, who is probably going to be called both a racist and a Murali fan, when he is neither.

  • Fuzooly on December 4, 2007, 4:44 GMT

    Well done murali keep it up

  • Imran on December 4, 2007, 4:24 GMT

    This is to Rowan, if Murali chucks or not, he still holds the record and there's nothing you can do about it, so deal with it loser. No one comes close except Warne, the greatest thinking bowler ever. Chuck or not, the record is his so stop whining, its not gonna achieve anything, all hail Murali.

  • Nanda Gunawardhana on December 4, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    most people argue who is the best bowler, because murali did`t ball well against Australia. So, shane warne aslo never ball against world best team. For fair calculation, we have to ommit the matchers palyed agianst each other (Aus.and Sri lanka) and calculate all numbers. Then warne is far bihind than murali

  • Jack Ranasinghe on December 4, 2007, 4:13 GMT

    This article was as much about Murali's personal qualities as it was about his cricketing abilities.

    Warne in comparison, was a mongrel of a human being in every aspect and whilst he was a very good spinner he was fortunate that he didn't play against Australia (who have always p,ayed spin very well).

    There are some teams that play spinners well and others that that buckle like geriatric knees. Warne's bunnies have been drawn from the ranks of the English, the South Africans and the Kiwis. How many wickets has he taken against the Indians?

    As for Murali's success against Zimbabwe... isn't that the country that produced Dave Houghton and Andy Flower, two of the best players of spin? How did Warne perform against them?

  • fraser on December 4, 2007, 4:02 GMT

    Murali - deserves no credit and cannot be compared to spinners like Prasansa, chandra,benaud, underwood, warne, majority of his wickets are against weak teams and he is 100% a chucker and all you sri lankans out there let me tell U he was thrashed recently in Australia,so you guys have prepared a spinners wicket for me - Murali is this is BS

  • Jothi on December 4, 2007, 3:56 GMT

    Heart felt Congratualtions to Murali. When he achieved this feet, he also created an example of a person of high character, highly capable and mentally strong. Everyone in Cricket know how the world of the game tested him and how he overcame all the hurdles that came across and with the beauty of exhibiting his good character even at the worst of times.

  • Rahul on December 4, 2007, 3:51 GMT

    Hyneb has as usual raised some idiotic points to support Murali and ICC's action of protecting Murali. He says that ICC found out that all bowlers have a higher degree of inflexion compared to Murali and if ICC had not changed the rule then 95% of the bowlers would have been banned. Now, how did ICC find this out? By doing bio mechanics test on all the bowlers? No. They used video tapes to measure the degree of flexion of all these bowlers. So if the theory of "optical illusion" is applicable for Murali, then is it not that ICC has used "optical illusion" to judge the flexion of other bowlers? And if ICC already has such sophisticated technology for measuring flexion of other bowlers using video tapes, then why does it say that it does not have the technology to measure Murali's flexion in a test match situation? Simle Answer because the truth will be found out about the Great Murali and his bowling action and the cover up that ICC did to protect Murali and not the reputation of all bowlers as pointed out by the great Hyneb (author of Idiot's - his name- guide to Murali). And another interesting fact, prior to 1996 murali had played 25 tests taking 81 wickets, an average of 3.24 wickets/ match. But in 1996 he had 14 wickets in 2 matches followed by 108 wickets in the next 17 matches and has been having a bowling average of less than 23, while prior to 1996 his bowling average was in the mid 30s. And it was in 1996 he was first no-balled for the reason of chucking. So there seems to be no surprise that the change of bowling action in 1996 and the advent of doosra which gives an "optical illusion" of throwing has helped Murali's cause rather than his original bowling talent. And its no surprise that ICC towing to the Asian Bloc came up with the cock and bull story about flexion in other bowlers being more than the permissible limit basis some video tests.

  • ians on December 4, 2007, 3:45 GMT

    To Dr Dick, James etc who say the rules were changed to accomodate Murali, that's crap. Check your facts first before making stupid (with all due respect) statements like that.

    Here is a little exerct from wikipedia, but you can get it from many websites.

    "After biomechanical tests conducted in the nineties, it was discovered that it is virtually impossible for the human arm to legally "bowl" the ball without any flex of the elbow. Thus according to the old laws, "legal" bowling would be practically impossible and something had to be done. The ICC decided to set an elbow extension limit. This was 10 degrees fast bowlers, 7.5 degrees for medium pacers , and 5 degrees for spin bowlers.

    After the Muralitharan issue, the ICC carried out a test on all bowlers through video footage during the 2004 Champions Trophy in England. The test brought up some startling results: ninety-nine percent of all bowlers tested were found to flex their elbow to some degree, which was often much greater than the limit set at the time. After a review by an expert panel, the ICC decided to raise the limit to 15 degrees for all bowlers. This limit was chosen as the ICC believed that any flexing of the elbow above 15 degrees would be visibly noticeable. This has caused a large amount of controversy amongst cricket fans and analysts."

    So .. most bowlers were chucking according to the laws at the time, and that's why the rules were changed. Sure Murali unorthodox action may have started the ball rolling, but tehy didn't change the rules to suit just him.

  • Damith on December 4, 2007, 3:34 GMT

    Well Done Murali. We are behind you mate. LOL at all the jobless aussies coming here going "don compare him to warne he is a chucker blah blah" yawn ZZzzZZ..pathetic attempts even at this stage. shows alot about the character of some ppl. murali is cut from a class above the australians playing today. learn how to accept things with humility. everybody loves murali except you lot. wonder why.

    well done murali again..1000 should be a piece of cake.

  • jan4cricket on December 4, 2007, 3:28 GMT

    I'm not going to even attempt to answer comments of short sighted, idiotic individuals who are suggesting that Murali is a chucker. I also don't think Rob Steen is on anything although I'm not sure of the individual who suggested that he is. Since this is not a perfect world, Murali will always have few (jealous)critics. However, his overwhelming number of admirers will always stand with him, the greatest bowler in the history of cricket, both ON & OFF the field.

  • Jothi on December 4, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    Heart felt Congratualtions to Murali. When he achieved this feet, he also created an example of a person of high character, highly capable and mentally strong. Everyone in Cricket know how the world of the game tested him and how he overcame all the hurdles that came across and with the beauty of exhibiting his good character even at the worst of times.

  • SKP on December 4, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    Murali is a great bowler, there is absolutely no doubt. Warne, Mcgrath and any australian bowlers never had to bowl against their batsmen....some of whom many regard are in the top 10 batsmen in the world. Murali has shown he can get the best batsmen out, not once but many times. 1000 wickets should be no problem

  • Daniel on December 4, 2007, 3:18 GMT

    Also Murali's average at home is an amazing 19, compared to 25 away. Warne's average is also away, but 26 in Australia, a country that doesn't make spin friendly pitches like Sri Lanka.

  • Daniel on December 4, 2007, 3:12 GMT

    Another big difference, Warne was able to bowl on and take wickets on pitches that weren't specifically designed to benefit the one bowler. Murali's home record speaks for itself. Undeniably awesome on home wickets, he struggles against the better nations on wickets that are fair for batsmen AND bowlers.

  • Ian Priyanath on December 4, 2007, 3:07 GMT

    Murali, Congratulations and Thank you very much for bringing so much pleasure and excitement to hard working life of a cricket tragic! Every time you run in to bowl I get my adrenalin pumping and can feel the excitement building hoping for a loud “ HOWZZZZAATT”. Aravinda, Sanath and Mural are ultimate trilogy for my dream team. When you (Murali) run in to bowl I will hold my beer tight and hold my breath, waiting for the “HOWZZZZAATT”!

  • Nathan on December 4, 2007, 3:00 GMT

    fair dinkum! I swear this thing is rigged, everyone get over it and just swallow the fact at the end of the day murali is the record holder...che ersssssss mate. i say Happy 1000th wicket in a years time....

  • Cricket_Lover on December 4, 2007, 2:50 GMT

    CONGRATULATIONS MURALI!! You make me proud to be a Sri Lankan, not just because of your record, but also for your perseverance, hard work and dedication to your craft. You make me believe that anything is possible, if you put your mind to it, no matter what the circumstances.

    For the FEW Australians/Murali's critics who think he's a chucker, you can keep blaming the ICC, Murali, whoever you think is responsible, but the fact is, he will keep going. He will keep going, and he will bowl his way towards 1000 and beyond.

    Contrary to your thoughts there are many down under and all over the world who support him. Why is it so hard for people like you to acknowledge him as a great bowler, and just get on with it. Do you see many Lankans and/or Murali supporters refusing to acknowledge Warne for the genius he is? No. So why can't (the few Aussies who refuse to do so), just give the man his due credit, rather than look like sore losers?

  • Salinda on December 4, 2007, 2:45 GMT

    Stuart, You said "You see, Desmond, in these countries, cricketers are taught to conform with the rules, not the other way around."

    I'm sure you are not talking about Australia. The Australia I know covered up match fixing for long enough to allow two prominent cricketers to turn themselves into 'legends' in oz terms. Australia I know allowed Warne to play again after banned drugs and funny enough acknoledged Warne's 'my mum gave me' excuse. Australia I know has legends who have bowled underarm to win at any cost. In fact that is a typical example of the teachings of Australia I know where one is prepared to use his own brother in the most disgraceful way to achieve your desires. Thats how the Australia I know plays within rules. Wouldn't bother explaining this to someone for whom winning is everything but for the wider community character, culture, history and legacy mean something special. I can understand if you don't get this

  • J Young on December 4, 2007, 2:44 GMT

    There is no doubt that Murali is a nice bloke. He is always very humble of TV, and is a good sportsman. But, his good character doesn't change the fact that he is a chucker. I know he has been tested in a lab, but on the field, his arm is often bent a long way past 15 degrees. And it is not just elbow "Flex". He throws that ball, and there is no way to bowl the doosra without throwing the ball. Look at the pictures in newspapers around the world, and you will see his arm bent nearer to 30degrees. Sorry pal, your record will never be taken seriously.

    It is interesting to note that there are no young spinners coming through with the same action, because they administrators know that it is illegal, but they don't have the guts to stand up to Sub-Continent cricket.

  • S. Sen on December 4, 2007, 2:22 GMT

    We are fortunate to have seen Murali play. To bring up the tired allegation of chucking now, as Bishen Bedi has done, is in terribly bad taste. Since Bedi is a notorious blowhard, nobody need pay any attention. The ICC implemented the 15-degree rule after it became clear that a whole slew of international bowlers were "chucking" (by the old rules). As for the idea that Murali's bent arm makes him a freak and gives him an unfair advantage, all great athletes are by definition freaks. B.S. Chandrasekhar bowled with a withered left arm. Most of us couldn't bowl at 160 kph no matter how many hours we spent at the gym, or turn the ball like Murali no matter how much we bent our elbows.

  • Chalaka on December 4, 2007, 2:21 GMT

    Rowan u say u can spin a tennis ball chucking. Have you ever played cricket and taken 709 wickets in any form of the game be it tennis ball or leather ball chucking or without? I doubt it my friend. Murali has been tested by the best in the business. Mostly in Australia where he was called for chucking and has been cleared so accept the record and its magnitude rather than make stupid comments. Be inteligent when you comment cause this is read by mostly educated people. Dont make a fool of urself.

  • Ajith on December 4, 2007, 2:19 GMT

    To all Australians: England and WI are as bad against spin as Zimbabwe. Murali has taken 93 english wickets in 13 tests, and 87 wickets in 14 tests against zimbabwe. Btw, Murali has a better record than Warne against ALL test playing nations bar Pakistan.

  • WASANTHA GALAHITIYAWA on December 4, 2007, 2:17 GMT

    My Very best wishes to Murali on his tremendous achievement.I feel sorry for not to witness this game in Kandy being me from kandy.I wish him all the best again onbehalf of Fans from Japan.

  • Ruben on December 4, 2007, 2:17 GMT

    Well done Murali.. You're an absolute legend!

    What I find funny is all this talk about Murali taking alot of his wickets against weak nations. If you look at the break up of his wickets, he has the fewest wickets against Aus and the SECOND LOWEST against bangladesh.... So does this make Bangladesh the second best squad behind Aus? Most of his wickets have come against South Africa, then England... I'm sorry but the last time i checked these wern't 'WEAK' teams... So is the theory that unless you get the most wickets against Aus, then your wickets mean nothing? There are other countries who play the game.. not just Australia. Yes, Australia is the strongest nation, but that doesnt mean taking wickets against all other nations (who by comparison to Aus are weaker) are useless. By that reasoning there should be only one team playing cricket.. Australia... If the wickets you take against Australia should be the only ones that count.. then Shane Warne currently stands on a big fat 0.

    Finally I'd like to say, if Murali did infact knowingly throw the ball... do you really think he would continue through 15 years of scrutiny and torment .. would he toil and toil for his country if he knew he was cheating.. a cheater would have given up at the first bio mechanical test... A champion prevails because he knows he speaks the truth and plays fair.

    How exaclty would all you "lets test in match conditions" morons perform a test in match conditions? and be able to gaurentee its accuracy? Get out a protractor? what a joke..

  • ramana on December 4, 2007, 2:15 GMT

    I do not understand Sri Lankan Sinhalses hate tamils but love Murali. Is there any reason? ramana

  • scientist a on December 4, 2007, 2:04 GMT

    as a nuetral i'm appalled that mr Steen would compare murali's situation with Malik's. From memory Malik was forced to spend time out of the game to amend his suspect action or risk being banned with another match ref/ umpire sighting. maybe we could compare Murali with Barry Bonds from the US? Also i can't understand the new blanket 15 degree rule, the flex of the arm should be allowed purely for momentum reasons and hence the faster the bowler the more latitude should be given. the whole "human eye cannot perceive less than 15 degrees" is a joke. Consider.... it was found that there was insufficient time for a person(batsmen) to change his mind (shot selection/ consciously make a new movement) in the time it takes for the ball to reach him when delivered by a fast bowler.

  • jared makuva on December 4, 2007, 2:02 GMT

    Murali is great. 709 in about 114 matches or so and Warne's 708 in 145 matches,

  • liuupson on December 4, 2007, 1:48 GMT

    Murali is a legend.no doubt about him.only racists who have jealous suspect him.but they have not any clue to prove.

  • Aiyah on December 4, 2007, 1:34 GMT

    Good man, fighter, humble personality and all the hosanas but statistics show that he got this first 400 wickets with an illegal action - When Chris Broad reported him and got him tested he was over the limit allowed for spinners - the rules have now been changed and you can blame it on a deformity or the ICC for having different laws for spinners and fast bowlers but the fact remains that he was illegal when he first appeared and his record should be broken up into two sections - WC (whilst chucking) and PC (permitted chucking) Take nothing away from the man but facts are stubborn and no matter how loyal we Sri Lankans are we cannot be blind to what we saw and heard and try to ignore.

  • Adrian on December 4, 2007, 1:31 GMT

    Please don't bring up Warne's off-field problems.They mean nothing in a talent comparison.Please don't mention chucking. Murali has been cleared. Did having McGrath and co. backing him up, make it easier or more difficult for Warne to get wickets? Will we ever know? I love watching Murali bowl to good batsmen. The battle is what test cricket is all about. I loved watching Warnie for the same reason. I believe they are both wonderful bowlers. Who is best? I think Warnie because he has won more matches for Australia than Murali has for Sri Lanka. For those who want to deride Warnie for his off-field antics please remember that when Murali helped at the tsunami Warnie was beside him. Not all bad ok.

  • Wijithagune on December 4, 2007, 1:22 GMT

    We salute you Murali just wonder if you played for Australia with their team fielding for you you would have had that 1000 already

  • Lilan on December 4, 2007, 0:56 GMT

    There is another big difference between Murali and Warne. Warne did not have to ball against mighty Australian batting line up.

  • DR DICK on December 4, 2007, 0:11 GMT

    I wonder if Murali will throw a party ?? He has the record and probably will forever, and indeed it is very disappointing to have the stigma of throwing on our record holder - remember the rules have been now changed twice to accomodate his action, and he has never been tested in match conditions, and i guess will never be - there is no point, he holds the record , it wont be taken away( none of the wickets were removed when it was revealed his action showed straightenning of up to 14.5 degrees) no matter what any further testing shows - so lets all get on with it and by the way - mrali isnt to blame for his action or for breaking records - you can only do what you are allowed to do

  • Cannuck on December 4, 2007, 0:04 GMT

    Congrats Murali, I hope you reach the 1000 and more!

    For those from down under who cannot seem to accept this record (very few according to my buds living there), please put your "FOSTERS" down for a second and read on... It takes a lot more than chucking to take 709 wickets. If any of you have actually played the game or bowled a ball in your life, you should know about accuracy, varying your spin, bowling to the field, studying the batsman and attacking on their weaknesses with the correct selection with the proper line and length.... It also takes his team mates to take the catches, stump the batsmen as his victims were not just mere one dimensional straight forward clean bowls. He mesmerizes each batsman differently with his skill, accuracy and fools them with his variations. It takes hard work and talent to achieve this. If this wasn't the case, then any Tom, Dick and Harry would be chucking there way to 700 wickets... This hasn't happened and it's a sentiment apparently Derek Pringle shares with his recent comments, according to an earlier poster.

    For those (mostly my fellow Sri Lankans) who are bringing Warne's personal life off the field into question, should also know that this is about a bowling record and not about who's the nicer guy who did or didn't do what. No one gave their wickets to Murali because he was nice to them, so let's keep it in perspective and acknowledge that Warnie is also a superb bowler. A different kind to Murali, nevertheless a great bowler of our time. We were lucky to see these two in our life time and let's cherish that fact instead of tarnishing the moment. I know you are angry for the others calling Murali a chucker, but none of them called his personal reputation into question, so why you do that with Warne is beyond me.

    A few had written that if Murali played with better bowlers he would have to share the wickets and would be about 300 less by now.. Well may be or may be not... Why? because the opposite also can be argued... To be sole dependent wicket taker of the side also is not an easy way to go about... First of all if the seamers don't break through with the openers/top order, by the time Murali gets to them they should be pretty set to take him on. If not all the batsmen have to do is, to see his overs off without giving their wicket away and attack the rest.. right? So how come he was able to break through their defense and take so many wickets? After all they weren't "softened" by the seamers of McGrath and Brett's quality.

    Also the quality of his victims.... Well, Sri Lanka has no 5 test ashes tours each year. We'd be lucky if others like England gave us more than 2 test series, that too in every 2-3 years. Murali has no control over it, or for that matter where he was born to play cricket. He just went about and took wickets, including of those quality players you refer to, whenever he faced them. Some better than others, but then that's the name of the game. So let's not add dubious reasons and prejudice remarks to tarnish Murali's achievement.

    As for who is the better bowler or the greatest between him and Warne... Well, that is for another time and place, and I am sure it will continue for decades as it should be... Similar to who is better, Bradman or Sobers? For now let's tip our hats to Murali for this tremendous achievement! Spin your way to 1000 scalps!

  • Noor mahammad on December 3, 2007, 23:57 GMT

    I agree with Paul.. This guy doesn't deserve to stay in world cricket. He should give up if he has little bit shame and self pride. He is spoiling spirit of the game.

  • james on December 3, 2007, 23:46 GMT

    We the ausies did not clear him. They changed the laws of cricket to allow him to play. They should have banned him for life.It is so easy to take wickets when you chuck but just remember one thing, there will be others to follow and what happens then. Do we change the rules back or what. Shane Warne might not have been a role model but at least his action was within the rules, the rules of yesteryear.

  • Naeem on December 3, 2007, 23:42 GMT

    The record could'nt have been broken by a better human being or one more deserving! As for all his detractors, funny how no one else can get close to him with or without "chucking". Maybe the rules should be changed to allow chucking and we can all see how many other bowlers come close to him. None?

  • Fahad Khan on December 3, 2007, 23:31 GMT

    Shane Warne is the highest class. The greatest. Murali's action may have been decided legal based on some abnormality. But as far as the cricketers with "Normal Human Body" are concerned, Shane is still the king of spin bowling.

    Nothing against Murali though. abnormailty gave him the big plus, but still his art is irreplaceable in itself. I would say, he's sort of like an animal champion.

  • Indyman on December 3, 2007, 23:12 GMT

    Who cares about world records when you are losing? Murali could get 1000 wickets but if Sri Lanka cannot win, especially on the road, doesnt this dliute his accomplishment?

    As an aussie, I recognise his greatness and salute his accomplishment and hope he gets to 1000 wickets.

    But ultimately, I feel it comes down to winning and that is why I rate Warne ahead of Murali and Lara ahead of tendulkar. But I rate Wasim ahead of Mcgrath and Ambrose. I think Waugh was better than Border but not has good as Greg chappell or Vic Richards.

    It is a matter of opinion and that is what makes our game great. But I am sick of South West Asians singling out Australia as racist when Murali's main 2 critics are Bishen Bedi and Nasser Hussain.

  • Aussie Joe on December 3, 2007, 23:11 GMT

    Murali, a gentleman and a hero. I am one of many Aussies who have great admiration for him. The ball did the talking and he only ever smiled.

  • dave on December 3, 2007, 23:09 GMT

    to 'chucking?' - you will be hard pressed to find any aussie who would support the disgraceful underarm incident. it was a national embarrassment and indefensible.

    as to those who claim that the only reason one would consider murali a chucker is because he's asian, i have nothing but contempt for you. why play the race card to try to silence those who believe murali's a chucker? i believe he's a chucker not because he's an asian but because he throws the ball. i also believe tendulkar is one of the greatest batsmen of all time so there goes your racism theory. whilst i have issues with murali's action, i have no problems with him as a person. he seems to be a humble, gracious and thoroughly decent man and a credit to his nation.

  • Stuart on December 3, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Desmond Trotman, you are wrong. It's got nothing to do with Murali's race or culture. But you're right on one thing,everything would be hunky dory if he were from New Zealand or Australia (or England or South Africa for that matter) because he would never have been allowed to take the field, as a bowler at least. You see, Desmond, in these countries, cricketers are taught to conform with the rules, not the other way around.

  • Stuart on December 3, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    I wonder if it was a freudian slip to compare Murali's record with Charlie Griffith, a notorious thrower of the ball. By the way, Raz, you are completely wrong. It was never alleged that any bowler other than Murali and Singh straightened their elbow by 15%. That's why they changed the rules. And Chucking the underarm incident was certainly unsportsmanlike, but it was perfectly legal under the Laws of the time. So that doesn't wash either. In fact, authorities in Australia changed the laws to prevent this gross act. The difference being, of course, that the ICC changed to laws to allow a particular bowler to cheat.

  • Stuart on December 3, 2007, 22:19 GMT

    ...next Murali supporters will be telling us Dennis Lillee threw the ball...

  • Stuart on December 3, 2007, 22:17 GMT

    Sorry all those from the subcontinent that have difficulty in understanding the Laws of cricket as they once were. Murali throws the cricket ball. That has been proven. That the ICC changed the rules so he could play is neither here nor there. That was an admittance that he cheats. Throws the ball, 160 odd wickets against Bangaldesh and Zimbabwe. Greatest bowler ever? I don't think so. Being tested in a laboratory is not the same as during a match. You can all bang on about Lee et al, but there's no way in the world that any doubts about his action comes even close to Murali's atrocious action. Congratulations to the three umpires who had the guts to call him, a great pity that three countries are holding the game to ransom, and I, for one, will never recognise this record. Do we acknowledge Ben Johnson? Although Murali certainly doesn't take drugs or anything like that, I see little difference. I might even accept that Murali does have an unavoidable defect in his arm, but that doesn't matter at all. He throws the ball, his action is illegal, he shouldn't be playing and the sport is all the more poorer for it. I wonder what Ian Meckiff is thinking right now.

  • Winston on December 3, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    Murali, you are truly great.You are no doubt the the greatest spinner the world has ever seen. I am an Australian and I am ashamed of some fellow australians who continue to call you as a chucker.

  • N Kodituwakku on December 3, 2007, 21:43 GMT

    Some who claims masters of the game of cricket says that Murali has claimed 163 cpeap wickets [referring to Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. These so called masters should realise that Murali has nothing to do with Test Match schedule settings. He only plays what Sri Lanka is offered. On the other had had Sri Lanka offered more test matches by socalled "leading nations" such as England he would have definitely taken more "cheap wickets. So far against England along he has taken 99 wickets. Let statics speak not twisted vulgar talks.

  • t.m. on December 3, 2007, 21:33 GMT

    dear merv, would benaut feature in anyone's top 11? and just who is bishen singh bedi? did he ever have a world record? it's fantastic, today's cricketing world. ppl like navjot singh sidhu has the balls to criticize tendulker. average comparisons, anyone? as for the chucking issue, only suckers like u will continue ranting abt it... sue the authorities if u want, but the authorities make the rules, and by those rules murali's clean.

  • Sha on December 3, 2007, 21:05 GMT

    This is the Longest list of Congratulations I have ever Seen...Adding one more to the list..MURALI..CONGRATULATIONS..Malaya Paarthu Nay Kuraikka Thaan Seyyum..:-)

  • kirby on December 3, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    Congratulations Murali and the rest of the SL team..Thanks also to the great Arjuna Ranatunga for standing up for truth and the Sri Lankan players when needed..

  • Mudassar Rana on December 3, 2007, 20:56 GMT

    Congratulations to Murali he truly is a great. I dare say if he had not had all these critics of his action maybe he would never have got to where he is.In the anglo-saxon world it is always easy to point out deficiencies in opponents always of a different colour.We should cast aside and congratulate both murali and warne as true superb proponents of their trade, both are legends and will remain so.

  • SENA on December 3, 2007, 20:45 GMT

    well done Murali

  • ANUSH london preston rd on December 3, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    congrats to the best & only spin king murali.i hope your records will never break.good luck for the future.

  • black monkey on December 3, 2007, 20:18 GMT

    mr Niranjan . there are some black asians who would trying to be posh as europeans. so you are betting for them. if you are a asian , how could you forget that in one incident warne called indians black monkeys. well, it seems that you have lot in common for what warne has said. but please, don't show things.

  • Seb on December 3, 2007, 20:18 GMT

    Undiluted? I am sorry, but the man is a cheat and a disgrace to cricket. His record is like Barry Bond's home run record - forever tainted by the fact that cricket had to prostitute itself to accomodate it. Forget the glut of easy wickets against cricket's cannon fodder, forget the years of friendly home baked pitches, forget the fact that he returned 4 wickets at 100.00 in his latest actual challenge and focus on the fact that for some reason, cricket sold it's soul to give this man this record. Hang your head for shame, Murali - hang your head for shame, sweet cricket.

  • pathum athukorala on December 3, 2007, 20:13 GMT

    mr rowan.. let me straight ur comments.. your white skin & jellousy never admire murali by his talents. there's no point of weeping. you know that he is the best, but don't show it. that's his sheer talent. in a world which dominated by the batsmen murali became a master wicket taker. you mean all the batsmen who faced murali just sacrifised their wicket to him? no. that's not what you maust think. think of a way to face him. rather than gossiping around against a crystal clear attitude of a man just go to your back yard & spin your tennis ball. that's the best thing you can do. and for murali, you are just nothing.

  • Bis on December 3, 2007, 20:08 GMT

    Murali has revolutionised the art of offspin bowling as Warne did for leg spin. The doosra is a staggering innovation, comparable to the googly, and it is Murali more than anyone who developed it (although Saqlain may have pioneered it). At a time when the obituary of the off break bowler was being written Murali breathed new life into the corpse of a dying art. Warne, Murali and Kumble are the three great champions of spin bowling over the last 20 years and we are fortunate to have witnessed them at their best.

  • pathum athukorala on December 3, 2007, 19:57 GMT

    people doubted his delievery stances instead of his true talent. Still murali remain a silent hero. where every one bow heads to the likes of warnies. it's sad why world is so blind. they know that murali is a geniues but, they never show it. in a world where the white skin is at the top murali wasn't the most impressive topic in their lips. but, anyway . it's wonderfull murali. you showed the world you are a champion.. even they don't believe you, we do. keep up the good work.

  • Rahul on December 3, 2007, 19:55 GMT

    I find it very funny when people say that warne was a cropper gainst india while murali has bowled well against the indians so he is better. Please take a look at what happened to murali in australia ...4 wickets at 100 runs a piece. Even the Indians who are considered the best players of spin could never thrash warne the way murali was trashed. So his 130 odd wickets against zim and bd prove the point that he managed to get cheap wickets. And posters who say Mcgrath got wickets against weaker teams, would do well to check mcgrath's stats. It will be an eye opener if they know how to read numbers. And by the way Murali averages more than 10 runs per wicket against the Indians as compared to his career bowling average. And lets not even look at his figures v the australians- they are the worst figures for him. So the highest wicket taker in test cricket has failed to make an impact against teams that can play him...ironic isnt it?

  • Syam Adusumilli on December 3, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    The world talks about his action - legal or illegal, unique or otherwise. They talk about his decency, a gentle and unassming man in a money centric and selfish sport. It is neither. It is his dedication to his sport and his art, and the unwavering commitment Mr.Muralitharan brings to the playing field. Some say this is their favourite sport, some exaggerate to call it thier life. To me, Murali has always approached this as his job - with all the associated hard work, punctuality, commitment and dedication that goes with it. He is a "karma yogi", this man - not a gaint among dwarves, just a man, a man committed to doing his job well day in and day out. Seldom has he worried about comments and views, opinions and attacks, or for that matter praise and back-slapping. His is not the anger and fire of a botham or an Imran Khan, or the flamboyance of Shane Warne or the scintillating action of Dennis Lilee. His is a blue collar workman like approach, sans the emotions and drama. The best comparision I can think of, is to a legend of baseball - Cal Ripken Jr. The wickets are important, no dobut, but so is the simple determination of this man, to do his job for his team. As Cal Ripken's coach once said of him "We are blessed that he plays every day", Sri Lankan Cricket should just be thankful Murali shows up to every match - 100% commitment - no dilution. Mr.Muralitharan, someone may one day overtake your record, but none will equal your simplicity and your commitment. For this we will always remember you and thank you. Not that it matters, but I am Indian, and still proud of his achievements, and of my luck to see him in action. No numbers will ever explain the pure joy of Murali bowling - the easy action, the grin, the fire in the eyes and the mixture of fear and confusion in the eyes and body language of the batsmen.

  • Giridhar on December 3, 2007, 19:45 GMT

    The stats may be overwhelmingly in favour of murali over Warney, but 432 of his wickets have come in Srilanka,233 against either Bangladesh,Zimbabwe or WI.... Murali had just 300 wickets in 60 matches till 1999....Then how did he reach such a big number in so less matches....I will tell you, it is because of the minnows playing more test matches.... I am not undereestimating Murali and his achievements in any way, but please dont draw comparisons to the legend of Shane Warne.... No one has carried on a team the way Warne did over the years!!!!!

  • Nipuna on December 3, 2007, 19:26 GMT

    Well done Murali you are the greatest spinner of all time, Warne is a NO Match to Murali coz Warne is a cheater who uses banned diuretics to enhance his performance & then blame is own mother for doing it

  • Sharif Kara on December 3, 2007, 19:12 GMT

    Murali cross the barrier put by Shane. It's time to remember the grace of spin. Where is Abdul Quadir, where is Bedi and where is Kumble..

  • Natraj on December 3, 2007, 19:02 GMT

    A chucker holds the record for the most number of wickets ... pathetic

  • laatsahib on December 3, 2007, 18:45 GMT

    Murli is a chucker. Hyperextension is a politically correct alternative to term chucking!!! If he can not bowl normally he should be allowed to bowl.

  • Chucker Zulu on December 3, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    Firstly to Rob Steen could you please put me in contact with your drug supplier - I want whatever it is you're currently on. To put Brett Lee and Shoaib Malik in the same "chucking" boat as Murali is akin to putting Pee Wee Herman in the same boxing boat as Mike Tyson. That crack you're on is obviously affecting your eyesight as well as your brain.

    To the other morons who have posted about Murali being such a nice guy off the field and so deserves accolades for breaking a bowling record I have to ask what the hell does that matter? By that reckoning it's obvious that Mother Theresa is the greatest cricketer of all time.

    (And we all know she wasn't particularly good against the short ball).

    The fact remains that the ICC changed the rules of the game just so Murali could keep playing. You know why? Besides them being spineless, THEY DIDN'T WANT TO BE SEEN AS RACIST. The ICC make a lot of money out of the subcontinent, and they didn't want to upset their biggest market.

    So before you lunatics rave on and say it's because of racism that people are critical of Murali, how about you realize it's only because of racism that he was even allowed to continue to play the sport in the first place.

    Murali's supporters are all full of excuses. If you're white and call him a chucker (and he most certainly is) then you're a racist. If you're brown and call him a chucker (like Bishen Bedi) then you're just old and jealous. If footage is slowed down and shows him straightening his elbow then it's all "oh he's just got extremely flexible double-jointed wrists".

    Why don't you just admit that he chucks with that freaked out screwed up bent-in-two galoptic wrist of his, but happens to be the best chucker in the history of the sport.

    Oh and I'd also be a nice person if my profession changed the rules that I was breaking so as to allow me to keep breaking them all for the sake of the almighty dollar - you wouldn't be able to get the smile off my face with a crow-bar.

  • deep on December 3, 2007, 18:16 GMT

    Congratulations Murali! Almost as thrilling as the record, is seeing all his detractors getting desperately apoplectic in these comments and elsewhere. I hope Murali goes on to take 1000, or whatever number it takes for Bishen Bedi and those of his ilk to pop a coronary.

  • sandeep on December 3, 2007, 18:00 GMT

    Australian fans are really the sorest losers on this planet, they just can't digest the fact that murali is so much better than warne, but its alright, if murali paid to attention to every sore australian good for nothing loser he wouldn't have reached his milestone.

  • parag on December 3, 2007, 17:58 GMT

    Murali chucks. Period. Murali may be a better human being but for me Warne is the greatest spinner of all time.

  • KMiller on December 3, 2007, 17:48 GMT

    Congrats to Murali on the achievement. He will go down as one of the world's greatest test bowlers. However, he is still 2nd to Warne as a spinner and quite far from being the greatest test bowler of all time.

  • Joe on December 3, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    As a cricket blog writer, you are required to know your Shoaib Aktars from Shoaib Maliks. I do hope Murali will enshrine his 709 ball on a little stand and present it to Arjuna. Arjuna was solely responsible for encouraging and having confidence in Murali when Murali was at his lowest points in his career. It is inspirational to have a captain like Arjuna. I am an Indian fan of both Arjuna and Murali.

    Murali is a warm and wonderful human being with a smile that can light up the whole of Srilanka. His outstanding contributions as a bowler along with Chaaminda Vaas's have been responsible for the success enjoyed by Srilanka in the past decade. Best wishes to Murali and hope to see him well into the next decade.

  • K.C. Manawadu on December 3, 2007, 17:31 GMT

    Congratulation Murali…. “the Genius Bowler in the game of cricket”

    You are the best there is, the best there ever was and the best there ever will be…..all those who criticize him are people who don’t know a dam thing about cricket or the rules of the game…he went through a lot but he kept his cool… that’s a true gentlemen.. and those who criticize him…cricket is a gentleman’s game you ignorant …cricket hates ……

    Shane Warn is a good bowler I’ll give him that but he played more games then Murali…when is comes to Legends in bowling there’s only one….Murali….there’s nothing to guess or say…he is the best… You cannot play this many games and call him a chucker you stupid morons…great cricket players admire Murali …because they are great players..(as an example Sr. D. Bradman), so who the these idiots don’t know smack about cricket and criticize him…no one can take the Glory fm Murali….

    Congrats…..Murali you showed how to be a true champion and a great human….you are very humble even when you at the top…that’s rare to find…you’re a Genius….

  • Vikum Rajapakse on December 3, 2007, 17:31 GMT

    Let the losers say what they want to say. Empty vessels make the loudest noise. Let the victor bask in his glory and the losers better go some where and lick their wounds without making any noise because Murali is here to stay till he decides to go. Here's to 1000 wickets for the master of spinner.

  • Robert on December 3, 2007, 17:30 GMT

    CONGRATULATIONS. You brought honour to the country and to yourself. You are a humble decent champion. Your behaviour in and off the field and how you faced the criticism is worth more than 709. I hope you will the bowling champion for ever. God bless You.

  • Johan Van Der Tank on December 3, 2007, 17:27 GMT

    Those who say the ICC changed the law so as not to appear racist, would you be happier if they had not changed the law, thus discriminating against a physical disability? You could probably spin a tennis ball on concrete, congratulations, but could you land it on the same spot for 40 overs at a time in the subcontinent heat, while you've got the burden of Sri Lankan cricket on your shoulders? If anything, Murali has had a harder time learning his trade since there is no coaching manual that I know of that says "keep elbow bent while bowling." He's had to grow up unable to bowl like his peers, but has rose above it, becoming the one of the greatest bowlers cricket has ever seen. Look past the disability and admire the genius that lies within.

  • Abdul kader.k.a.from kadayanallur,TN,INDIA. on December 3, 2007, 17:07 GMT

    Bedi, Benaud&others who hate murali's action atleast say congratulate to murali. What a shame to call murali a chucker! He is a one of greatest cricketer ever particularly in bowling department while bradman is for batting. Nearly 60 years gone after bradman retired still no one atleast nearing bradman's avg(99.94,after bradman,ponting has around 60 with minimum 20 tests)till now! Now murali has 710,he may reach 1000, this probably will not be broken by anybody atleast to another 100 years! Or may not even be ever broken! Congrats MUTTAIAH MURALITHARAN.(i think no one mention his full name in this article.

  • anjana on December 3, 2007, 17:05 GMT

    hmmmm first of all....congrats to murali on his great success... but this is abt those who r tryin very sadly to condem his achievements... we all know he is not a chucker.. u cant ball with a bracer arond teh arm of u chuck.. and aussie scientist proved.. all the aussie's who call him a "chucker"..without no proof talk to ur scientists and talk to micheal slater who was there at the testing...they'll say he is not a chucker... And sum ppl think ICC adjusted rules for him...wel not only for him....at that time degree of floexion allowed was 10 degress...and both mcgrath and lee wit murali were above this.. so pls dont talk nonsense..

    im a sri lankan...like all sri lankans i feel dat aussies play gud cricket..and warne is a great baller.. why cant sum ppl just acknowledge wat murali has accoplished...i know a lot of australian's who think realy good of murali..and support him( thank you mates we appreciate ur support)...so others also pls try to grow up and try to stop whinning like a mommy's little girl. ohhh yaaa sumone commented about the brave aussie umpire who called murali for no ball...aru u talkin abt darrel hair?? lol he is clealy mental....i pity the poor guy...look at wat he has done to him self...goin to courts agaisnt ICC and withdrawin...wat a joker.sory dude...but u r makin a big fool out of ur self all the time... im sory to say ohh yaa like i said aussies r a gud cricker team..but r they realy good sportmen...thats a little doubtful...warne and drugs..(mind u im a great fan of his ballin but not drug takin)....ok guys just imagine 2007 worldcup final...SL vs AUS...lets say kumar sangakkara scored a match winning centuary wit a golf ball in his glove...do u realy think the situation wud hv been same as it was wit adam gilchrist.... wud it hv just gone away like it did?...NOOOO... bt wud sri lankans shout out every time he comes to bat "cheater" and "golf ball"..NOOOO... anyways golf ball or not it was a gud batting display.. maybe not the most sportsman like... Pls dont try to condem what murali has achieved cuz the man has gone through enough and worked hard for his achievements... finaly i knw all the indians (wel most...wel all my indian friends r atleast) support murali...but Bedi's an old fool who will probably hv to pay a lot of money for puttin his mouth in tho wrong place...i know dat most indians dont feel dat way...lol.. bedi is just probaly naive and jealous annyways no one realy cares abt what he has to say...ok ty guys..its been a long talk.sory abt that..but i wid liek to see any comments u hv to say for what i just said.

  • Peter on December 3, 2007, 17:04 GMT

    When I was in school I had aspirations to be a fast bowler. I was never really very fast, but could bowl pretty decent outswing. There were a couple of other kids in my school who were significantly faster, but, to be polite, had somewhat dodgy actions. It was quite galling to see them being picked for the school team at my expense, by a coach who was interested in winning and not much else. Most other teams also had a couple of bowlers with dodgy actions, so everyone sort of mutually agreed to ignore the issue. In those days, as these bowlers went up the chain, they would eventually start getting no-balled by umpires and would then either have to modify their actions (in most cases reducing their effectiveness significantly) or drop out of the team. That no longer happens - and thousands of kids with proper actions suffer as a result. The only real recourse for them is to introduce a kink of their own in their actions, to get that extra bit of pace or turn. If you go into the school and neighborhood cricket fields of South Asia today you will see this trend has become an epidemic. That, in essence, has been Murali's, Shoaib's, Lee's and Harbhajan's contribution to the game. And for bending the rules related to bending the arm, the ICC, the BCCI, and the University of Western Australia are just as much to blame. To put a positive spin on it, you may call it an evolutionary step for the sport. However, it is difficult to see anything positive in this situation.

  • sukhas on December 3, 2007, 17:00 GMT

    Hey guys who is calling murali chucker please can you shut your mouth; i belive most of the derogatory comments are coming form ausies about whose manners i dont have anything more to say. Shame on you guys for calling murali a chucker. Murali the true champion.

  • Shanmuga on December 3, 2007, 16:41 GMT

    Some may argue that Murali has dubious bowling action. But every team has players who have such dubious actions. For example, Pakistan (Akhtar, Shoaib Malik, Hafeez), India (Harbhajan Singh, Sarandeep Singh, Rajesh chauhan), Australia (Brett Lee, Tait), Newzealand (Mills), South Africa (Johan Botha), England (Kirtley). Only reason why people shout about only about Murali is that others in the above list have not achieved even a small fraction of what Murali has achieved today. Murali really rocks!!

  • Dr Anand on December 3, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    good achievement no doubt but i dont think he is the greatest spinner , hes got almost 150 wickets against bangladesh and zimbabwe plays mostly at home only and hes got a pathetic record against aus which has beenthe most dominant team of the past decade.Compared to him anil kumble has got only 50 wickets agaisnt ban and zim , so if u take out their wickets against zim and ban both of them ie kumble and murali have roughly the same no of wickets and kumble has a fantastic record aganist the best team of the past decade ie australia.If india would have played as often against ban as sri lanka do kumble would have also crossed 700 wickets by now.

  • Sahan on December 3, 2007, 16:24 GMT

    CONGRATS MURALI!! YOU ARE A LENGEND.. I HOPE YOU CAN GO AND REACH THAT MAGICAL 4 FIGURE MARK!! ALL THE BEST!!

    AND FOR THOSE LOSERS WHO CANT TAKE IT, BECAUSE A SOUTH ASIAN MAN HOLDS WORLD'S GREATEST HONORS.. I SAY.. THANK YOUR MOMS THAT THEY GAVE BIRTH TO YA'LL AT THE RIGHT TIME TO WITNESS THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOWLER IN ACTION!!

  • Abdul kader.k.a.from kadayanallur,TN,INDIA. on December 3, 2007, 16:06 GMT

    Excuse me merv,niranjan,ravi,etc., all those guys says in this article murali is a chucker and not deserve to his record, i think their views probably one of the best joke u may ever read in an article Oh! This is democratic world so people can say whatever they want..!That's y they might have said that. It won't be surprise if above guys say courtney walsh .better batsman than tendulkar. Common guys what an achivement murali did,wt u say?i think bedi wants a job in abroad(apart frm asia) that's y he always blame asian players(harbajan,murali).in sports there shouldn't be any partiality,but some guys are behaving like that! Gongrats murali..sorry warne fans...

  • Shan on December 3, 2007, 15:54 GMT

    Murali is the highest wicket-taker and the most prolific spin bowler ever.Nothing else matters.Quantitatively as well as Qualitatively he is a better bowler than Warne. It's Ironic to see so many WHITE people have 'Racist Bias' against him!

  • Gursaran Singh on December 3, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    The only way to settle this is a bowl out between Murali and Warne. Also no plaudits for Murali's batting? I always thought he was an enteratining batsmen much in Afridi's mould.

  • stew on December 3, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    raz is right - if Murali is a chucker then so are almost all bowlers who have ever played the game. I find it hard to understand those who continue to ignore the scientific evidence (gathered by an Australian university too, so hardly evidence of some kind of conspiracy). I am an Australian and although I thought Warne was a great bowler, I think Murali is even better (though perhaps not the greatest of all time; there have been many great bowlers with a better strike rate, but nevertheless he is definitely up there). The slurs against Murali here are as tiresome as the random accusations of racism. Lets just congratulate the man for a great achievement and a record that will surely stand for a long time (Murali will hold the record, I think, for as long as Lance Gibbs did).

  • Tamilian on December 3, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    He is one of the greatest Tamils ever to live.

  • hneyb on December 3, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    IDIOTS GUIDE TO APPREICIATE MUALI

    How to solve the cheap wickets problem 1. Find out how many tests Murali has played against Bangladesh & Zimbabwe - lets call this figure X. 2. Find out how many wickets he got against them - call it Y. 3. Find out how many wickets per test Murali has against West Indies/England (Warne has played a significant number of tests against these countries) - Call this figure Z 3. Minus Y from 710 - this figure can be A 4. mutiply X*Z - This figure can be B 5. Add A+B (If you don't understand this - I suspect you won't if you this guide is meant for you - This will give the effective number of wickets Murali would've got if he didn't play against Zim/Bangla and instead played more against England & WI)

    find out how much the difference is.... my guess it would be a little less than 710 but not a lot. remember Warne played many more matches to create the original record.

    How to decide if Murali chucks

    1) Look up the definition of "Optical Illusion" - Don't always belive what you see - when Murali bowled with a unbendable cast on TV...it still looked like he chucked! 2) Tests concluded that Murali straightens his arm by upto 10 degrees when bowling the doosra and only upto 5 when bowling the off spinner. 3) Almost all bowlers around the world had flexion higer than this numbers including McGrath,Pollock,Brett Lee... 4) If the ICC enforced the "old rule" it would've outlawed 95% of the bowlers in world cricket. Also achivements of bowler such as Holding,Botham,Lillie,Hadlee etc would have to be erased from the record books.... So the ICC didn't change the rule to help Murali...but only to preserve the reputations of all the bowlers in the history of cricket!

    If you don't understand these facts...You could try to get your facts straight. This information can be found on a wonderful thing called the "Internet". Also a lot more knowledgable sceptics than you(i.e Holding,Slater,Fraser etc) have had to change their minds after looking at these results so there is no reason you cannot.

    Just to add that unlike some ignorant people on these boards I admire both Murali & Warne...Lot of people have tried to figure out how well both bowlers would've done if they played for each others teams(Murali for AUS and Warne for SL)....something we would never find out.... I've got no doubt that if they played for the same team the stats would have been very similar and stats for both these champions would have been even better!

    A world record does not make Murali the best bowler of all time....Just reminds us that he is a champion that we should be priviledged to watch!

  • Robbo on December 3, 2007, 15:10 GMT

    If the disparagers were white MCC members they could be excused as Col Blimps, the Aussies have always been bad losers, what excuse do the others have?

  • Jones Manzira on December 3, 2007, 15:09 GMT

    congats murali.a champion is a understatement.he is and will be among the greatest players of all time.i have seen such a persistent and brilliant bowler.i wish him all the best.

  • L Smith on December 3, 2007, 15:01 GMT

    A terible, terrible day for cricket when the owner of the most diabolical action seen since Ian Johnson, is called a great "bowler". The conniving of the world's cricket press, like the ICC, terrified of the money of the Asin Bloc, is equally damning.

    Warne who I agree is not half the person that Murali apparently is, is however by far the greatest bowler the world has seen. Murali is not a "bowler" -he is an out and out chucker and always has been.

  • Nick Gentle on December 3, 2007, 14:51 GMT

    The Aussies cleared him of chucking already, so could you please all just shut up. Also, if you've ever watched slow-mo replays of Shoaib or Lee bowling really fast then you'll see the hyper-extension there... does that mean they're cheats? No.

  • kazi on December 3, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    Congrats murali... We are indeed lucky to have witnessed his career. Bowling has alwayz been under-rated compared to batting. For people who dont understand the magic of bowling murali is a chucker. Comprehend bowling 38000 balls and also taking 700+ wickets against the bests cricketing world has to offer with little or no assistance of your bowling department (no offence to VAAS) and as for the claim that murali opened pandora's box of chuckers... Lets just say he corrected a rule that had no science behind to it... CONGRATS MURALI ... Hope you have the strength to send another 290 batsmen back to the pavillion

  • N Weeraratne on December 3, 2007, 14:43 GMT

    Congrats Murali! Our cricket team is the best thing to happen to our little country... - and you are the best thing that has happened to our team!

    To the few of you who have made those silly little comments on chucking and throwing - Scientific proof is unfortunately a very difficult thing to ignore for those with common sense! The ICC changed the rules because there was blatant evidence that most bowlers in the world (both present and past) bent their arm to some extent when delivering. Note that in the new rules fast bowlers are allowed to bend their arms more than a spinner - clearly this rule was not put in place to accommodate Murali!

    There was a time (not so long ago in fact) when people used to get set on fire for making silly little remarks such as the world was round, or it was NOT created in 7 days… Fortunately, it seems science has a slightly bigger influence on today’s law makers – at least when it comes to sport!

    So fingers crossed, future generations will better appreciate the man for the true genius he really is (or was), and envy us for having had the opportunity to follow this amazing career – just like I envy those who got to see the great Don in action!

  • raz on December 3, 2007, 14:41 GMT

    Like someone said earlier... Bradman said muralis action was fine... so does all the high tech camera and slow mo's with hundreds of frames/sec and biomechanics... so I suppose the people who keep harping on about his action... u are both a better judge of a cricketer than Don Bradman and also a better scientist than those in the Australian University who conducted the tests.. and u also have better vision than a hi tech slo mo camera? Sure u may have all that ... but u sure have nothing in-between ur ears except a lump of clay... and for those who say the rules were bent... they werent bent for him.. they were bent for almost EVERY bowler out there.. so if u want to call every international bowler a chucker.. go ahead... just shows what a retard u are... why dont u just ban bowling altogether and just have 2 batsmen and 11 feilders out there.. then no one would chuck.. some idiot was saying murali has allowed other chuckers to bowl without getting penalized... I suppose that also includes every fast bowler alive as well? Courtney Walsh? Glen McGrath? Shaun Pollock? Michael Holding? how conveniently you guys select your facts... your just showing how pathetic, moronic and mean spirited (and probably racist as well) u are.. Plus Warne is a great bowler... but unlike Murali... he is a proven drug cheat... and was implicated in matchfixing as well as numerous sex scandals... but of course he is aussie... so being a proven cheat dosent matter (as opposed to an implied one)... especially since his mum gave it to him... dogs will always bark... but the great will always just ignore them... u guys can yap all you want... but in the end.. the record books will show him as the best bowler in history... long after u guys are dead and gone.. what have you achieved in your lives that beats that?

  • CT Dubai on December 3, 2007, 14:40 GMT

    Well Done...! You will pass 1000...! No Doubt... This is the best example for Unity of Sinhala & Tamil people in Srilanka...!

  • Miten on December 3, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    For those that defend Murali, you know that he hardly finds the need to do it himself, why do you waste your time? A truthful man knows himself to be truthful and needs no justification from any outsider. On the contrary if he is a fraud and he knows this then no one suffers more internally than he. Dont waste your time. If you support him, enjoy his achievement and if you don't, know your belief in your heart and move on.

  • D.Raj joseph on December 3, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    Hi Murali. You are a true champion and will be remembered as the best bowler for ever. There are many cannot swallow the bitter pill because only they did was invent the game but never produced a champion like you. Congradulation.

  • Jo on December 3, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    As someone who suffers from a physical disability I find all the criticism of Murali quite disturbing.

    What all these (you) people are saying is that if someone has a disability that makes playing cricket less favourable than it would be ok. Here someone was born with a disability that gives him extra flexibility in the wrists (it's the wrist's we are talking about - the arm doesn't straighten - that has been proven), then he can not benefit from it because disability always has to be a negative thing making people worser off.

  • raz on December 3, 2007, 14:26 GMT

    What is the fact that every single person who says the rules were changed to accomodate Muralis action, and who says he chucks has conveniently forgotten or ommitted? The fact that 99% of the bowlers in international cricket.... including some of those considered to have a "perfect" action... and HEAVEN FORBID !!!! some AUSSIES themselves (Glen McGrath anyone? the so called "Mr. Perfect action")extend their arm up to 15 degrees when bowling.... the limit of 15 degrees was set to accomodate ALL of them... muralis bend was something like 11 degrees if I remember right while McGraths was more... so if people say the rules were changed to accomodate him... they were more so to accomodate Australias best fast bowler... and most of the other bowlers in the world.... people who ignore this are either just racist, ignorant or just plain jealous (Warney anyone?) ...

  • irfan ghouse on December 3, 2007, 14:14 GMT

    well done mate.great achievment. very proud to be a sri lankan in uk.all the very best.

  • Iftikar Zaruk on December 3, 2007, 14:14 GMT

    Well done Murali.. you've achieved a feat that no cricketer ever can achieve, not ever with the conditions you were surrounded with.. I'm sure if you were born a white and an Australian, by now you surely must have achieved 1000wickets or even more and with your attitude you surely may have outdone Sir Bradman (with respect) in popularity. Sadly for mates and God knows from where that word "mate" derived from luckily for we Asians you were born tough to overcome all the obstacles and achieve what you rightly deserve to be called "world's champion bowler". The good thing about being an Australian is that if you were popular you can even getaway in a "bookie case" you simply have to say you just gave them the pitch report and the world and ICC will listen with no fuss at all. Mahela, Sanga and Murali, you guys too soft for the Auz, I felt that Murali should never have played in Autralia at all, Sanga on that day could ghave changed the match if not for Rudy's blunder and the gentleman Gilchrist and his ball all clean under the Carpet. Imagine all these odds taking place against the Auz.. If somebody wants to look at a real robber just look at Mr Hare, still fights for his ransom, a Classis Auralian example.. In our own words WELL DONE MURA..

  • chico on December 3, 2007, 14:08 GMT

    Hats off to one of the greatest sportsmen ever - and even more, to one of the greatest Sri Lankans ever! All those (political)idiots on that amzingly beautiful island should learn from Murali. It is a smile and humility - not greed and brutality - which can move mountains. A moment of glory for a sad people!

  • Chucking? on December 3, 2007, 14:05 GMT

    So the australians bowling underarm against new zealand is very much in the lines of legality and sportsmanship is it?

  • rahul p on December 3, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    A great achievement for a great bowler.Hats off to Murali for his landmark achievement.But to consider him the greatest bowler ever to grace the beautiful game is abit too much,considering the fact he has a poor record against India in India and also against Australia.The same applies is to Warne as well. Murali has had most of his success at home in conditions that are suitable to spin bowling. There are bowlers who have done well in all conditions but with fewer wickets. To say Murali is the best is totally absurd,even though his record would not be broken by anyone.

  • Chucking? on December 3, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    For all the people out there who claim Murali claimed 30% of wickets from minnows....substitute all the 5 match test series that australia played england (where warne took a majority of his wickets)...and then factor it out if Sri Lanka played that many tests vs england. Murali would still be taking more wickets than warne.

  • ItsNotCricket on December 3, 2007, 13:58 GMT

    Yet another shameful day for cricket - like all the others when this man broke a record. If he has a deformity in his right arm, he should have bowled with his left. Or played another sport that did not require having the arm straight at the elbow. He is no genius and no inventor. If he is humble, it's only because he knows that he is a fraud. He knows that the bowling alley where he made his records had secretly put the side walls up for his lane only. Cricket's bowling records have been hijacked, ruined and made meaningless forever. Shame on him and those who run cricket.

  • A.A.Ahamed Afker on December 3, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Murali is a greatest ever bowler in the world.Congratulate to him and the Sri Lanka team.Hope he will produce many more records in future.Hope he will break Wasim Akram's ODI record as well.As a Sri Lankan I am very proud about him and today is the one of the happiest day in my life as he made all of us the proud.Best of luck Murali.

  • Nihal on December 3, 2007, 13:53 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan so do not be shocked by what I have to say. It is obvious that Murali's action is unique, but that is the essence of life. He has been exhaustively tested as a result of being called by umpires. I wonder how others would have coped with the pressure of such a public examination and still remain the well documented humane and genuine person he is. He has had a splint fitted whereby he cannot bend his arm (hence not be able to throw) and his bowling examined - it still looked like he was throwing - i.e. the basis of the optical illusion - illusion defined as a misinterpretation of a visual stimulus. It is evident also that nearly all bowlers that have ever bowled (had they all been tested to that same degree) would have been found to throw - that was the opinion of the Australian Biometric Scientist that tested Murali on more than one occasion. Can I make a request of you folk? Can you make decent case against Murali and if YOU are found wanting then do the decent thing - keep quiet and keep your ungenerous, spiteful (sounds like this) and yes somewhat racist views (most of the negative views here are from euro sounding stock apart from one asian name which may be a cover or an ill person!). Warne was good. No question about him. Just enjoy Murali and his achievement, plaudits to the Sri Lankan where it is due. One day another unique individual will come about and whatever his origin, or birth defect or talent. if that person shows ability, humility, resourcefulness, immenseness of spirit and joy, I for one will be happy just to watch and be contented.

  • Cam on December 3, 2007, 13:50 GMT

    Well, I think we can all count ourselves fortunates to have seen two bowling greats performing their art over the same period. It is not a matter of who is better, Warne or Murali, it it simply a case that the pair of them have captivated the cricketing world, one way or another.

    Fair credit to Murali, he has done what ever has been asked of him. All he can do is play the way he plays. He is not responsible for ICC Laws, he is not responsible for Sri Lanka's test schedule, and he is not responsible for the weakness of the other Sri Lankan bowlers (Vaas could be considered the exception to that). All Murali is responsible for is going out and doing the job that was asked of him each and every time.

    So, congratulations to Murali for achieving the record. It has been a pleasure to watch him in action over the years - just as it has been a pleasure to watch Warne.

    Cam (an Aussie)

  • m.g.samarasekara on December 3, 2007, 13:44 GMT

    Well done Murali, congratulations, hope you can reach to 1000 wickets near future.

  • jack on December 3, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    Jealousy world never admire a hero.Those who insult Murali as a chucker never successful their life either.Sorry to say this but that is how it should be !! You have to be fair regardless of race ,origin,color and leave away from envy and learn to appreciate even a enemy's true achievment!!

  • Lol on December 3, 2007, 13:33 GMT

    Oi Merv (above), your having a laugh mate, An Australian redefines the word insecure, whenever someone remotely threatens the Australian sporting establishment an Australians first instinct is to try anything to discredit that person. As for Richie Benaud, I don't think I've seen someone more biased person ever to sit in a commentary box. I think I'm right in saying he was also the Captain of the Australian Team when Wally Grout was bowled by Alf Valentine and refused to leave the field. As for Bishen Bedi, it must gall him to not even be 1/5 the bowler Murali is. Unfortunately for him, his rants about Murali clearly show his failure as a human being although I'm pretty sure he's just peeved about being thrown out of the Madras Gymkhana Club by his own countrymen for being a twit. Well Done Murali, for all of you sitting pretty in Australia cowardly yelling no ball, Murali took all his wickets coming from a country where an ordinary Tamil is sometimes scared to walk the streets at night. What did Warnie have to go through? A lack of baked beans? Or no wait...oh poor Warney its another text scandal...or wait...no oh he's tested positive again..The sad thing about Australians is wheras most cricket playing nations (including Sri Lankans) say Warne was a great bowler, you people lack the moral courage to acknowledge THE greatest test wicket taker of all time and refuse to acknowledge him as one of THE greatest bowlers in the history of cricket. It kinda reflects your society.

  • Arsalan on December 3, 2007, 13:27 GMT

    Murali is a great bowler in the world. Congratulates to him. And best of luck for 1000 wickets... Hats off to him.

  • bhagwaankilulli on December 3, 2007, 13:25 GMT

    FOR HES A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW , FOR HES A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW.........CONGRATS MATE!!...ALL WAYS FOR U TO GO TH DISTANCE .... I MEAN THATS THE 1000 MARK..DO IT FOR US ASIANS...DUDEE>>

  • Sibtain Naqvi on December 3, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Murli has done what we all expected him to do. He has the record but all these comparisons with Warne are odious. You cannot compare the two or belittle them in trying to do so. Warne had many advantages, the least being the Aussie propoganda machine and one of the best test teams of all side. Murli did not chose his opponents so wickets against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in no way demean his achievement. Yes Warne has had an enormous impact on the game but Murli is a world beater although he has been tamed by Australia and India on occasions. Bishen Bedi is a grouchy old coot and Benaud is simply biased. Murli has the record and Warne deserved to hold it. The question of whose better is irrelevant, Botham took Lillee's record but he is nowhere in the same class. In this case the genius level is about equal.

  • Nazam on December 3, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    yeah a true champion.But i think who will break murali's record.Think?????

  • Asela on December 3, 2007, 13:15 GMT

    Well done... Murali. A true son of mother lanka has shown the world what a great sportsman he is.. On and off the field. I believe Murali is a legend not because of his achievements alone, but also with the stupid rude comments he is getting from jealous ppl who do not want to see his success.

    Ppl who know and love the game truly knows what a genious you are.... Go get ur 1000... Good luck.

  • alzu on December 3, 2007, 13:15 GMT

    If u call murali a chucker? i can say that warne claimed most of his wickets using drugs?he bowles almost 15 overs at a strecth in a test,wonder y he was not tired CA was in shame when he was dropped in the 2003 world cup. .......wel done murali....

  • igorolman on December 3, 2007, 13:14 GMT

    How anyone can say Murali is the best bowler of all time is beyond me. Have these people never heard of S.F. Barnes? Seriously, though, have a look at Murali's wrist action in the next close up. It's like he's playing overarm petanque! To have that much wrist control and accuracy is just phenomenal. He's basically a mystery spinner, but his mystery hasn't been found out a la Gleeson, Iverson, Adams etc in over 10 years. Good on him for getting the record. Finally, why is everyone getting so orgasmic over the record? Did they do so with Border, Warne, Waugh, McGrath? No, because the Aussies know that the team comes first. I recently read on cricinfo that Indian fans seem quite happy to lose as long as Tendulkar/Ganguly/Laxman makes a ton. The article made the point that if an Ocker watched Ponting make a ton in a losing cause he'd go home and kick the cat. Maybe that's why the Aussies are so far ahead, hmm? (BTW I'm English)

  • deshan on December 3, 2007, 13:12 GMT

    Well done brother.. true champion in all time ever.The people who dont have sense can call you any.... no matter what. you came such long way despite of all problems....cheers man....Go for 1000 true srilankan.

  • Desmond Trotman on December 3, 2007, 13:12 GMT

    I believe a lot of the negative comments have more to do with who he is and where he is from rather than about any sin that he is accused of committing. I cannot escape the feeling that if Murali was from Australia , England or New Zealand everything would be hunky dory. He has passed all of the tests set by the ICC and his action has been proclaimed as legal and to hell with those who say otherwise.

    To the idiot who talked about Murali taking hordes of wickets against weak cricketing nations I would like to ask him if he had condemned Mathhew Hayden' s380 against Zimbabwe to break Lara's record for the then highest score? That thought I am prepared to stake my life that the thought that Hayden (superb batsman that he is) had scored his 380 against a weak opposition had not even occured to him.

    The difference between a top class performer and an ordinary one in cricket or in any other competitive sport is that person's ability to exploit the existing conditions. Cricket is a highly competitive sport and all who enter the fray do so win. So what is the point.

    I am from Guyana and I offer sincere congratulations to Murali, one of the world's finest cricketers and sportsmen who stands today as the greatest/finest wicket taker in the world.

    DesMond

  • Ranjith on December 3, 2007, 13:09 GMT

    Adam, I think you got it wrong. It helps to have other great bowlers in your side to keep the pressure on both ends. In Sri Lanka's case, opposing batsmen just played safe against Murali, without taking any risks and just went after anyone at the other end. Warne had the advantage of having great McGrath and others at the other end, forcing batsmen to take risks against Warne..hence loosing their wickets... Just look at the present series against England..the English batsmen are doing just that.

  • Srinath on December 3, 2007, 13:09 GMT

    I think this comments section sums it up all...the world is divided in its views on this legend...even if it be that he chucks,its not easy to chuck well for more than a decade and come up with the goods,with the whole burden resting on u evry time u go in there...and...add to that all the off-field stuff that he's been part of...and u'll know y he's such a great guy...But Murli has remained calm throughout and gone abt his work in a wonderful way...cheers mate,hope u bring more laurels to ur nation...

  • Jamie Dowling on December 3, 2007, 13:08 GMT

    The debate goes on, perhaps reignited by this milestone. Does Murali chuck? There doesn't seem to be a middle road here, either he is a "f'ing chucker" (thanks Nasser) or he's a genius.

    What we have here is recognition of a man. Unique. A real individual. A bloody hard worker. And above all, a nice guy. Always has a smile on his face and despite all the adverse coverage about his action he hasn't said an unpleasant word in response.

    Could anyone here have managed that? Damn sure I'd have come out with a few less than pleasant put downs under a similar rain of comments.

    The stats speak for themselves. My shoulder cracked and ached like mad after bowling eight overs of my own brand of off-spin. Could I bowl anything like the number of overs Murali has? Er, no. Could I ever be as accurate as Murali? Er, no. Assuming we're not counting in my daydreams. Could I ever be as feared as Murali? Er, no. That's one reason why I gave up spin and turned to swinging pies instead.

    We do have one similarity though: one of my haul of 5/28 was taken with a ball that should have been the offie but went the other way. Being completely honest mine slipped off my finger and hit a crack. No wizardry about it. My grin at that moment was as huge as Murali's.

    Simon Barnes wrote of Ashley Giles recently that "Worthiness doesn’t stir the blood. Well, not often." In terms of sheer bloody hard work and giving his all for his team, there are few worthier people than Murali. You can't argue with that effort.

    Off the field he is reportedly as gracious and humble as he is on. Of the people who have played alongside him, does anyone have anything slightly negative to say about him?

    I'm sure the chucking debate will rage on and on. I'm led to believe Murali is double jointed. There's nothing disbarring double jointedness in the Laws Of Cricket. A long time ago I suggested somewhere that bowlers with questionable actions should wear a brace when bowling. Jonathan Agnew said on the radio yesterday that he had seen Murali wearing such a brace and it made no difference to the resulting balls.

    How the ICC has handled chucking is a debate for a different time. How about next week? Any cricket lover will take time to acknowledge the sheer hard work and effort Murali has put in. He has conducted himself with dignity under pressure and has been a rock for Sri Lankan cricket.

    It could be that this quiet man is as good a role model as you will find in international sport.

  • Imtiaz Zafardeen on December 3, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    Way back in 1990, I had the priviledge of playing opposite Murali in an inter-school cricket fixture and what struck me foremost and regal was his mannerisms, moral ethics and the basic human qualities in general, which certainly superceded what he could do with the ball. Standing at the non-strikers end,I watched in awe him bowl one of my mates round his legs with a viciously turning leg-spinner instead of the usual. I knew well then that time will bring on the colossus in him and a feat the world would never forget. It pains me so much to read Bishen Singh Bedi howl and growl endlessly aiming arrow at Murali's action and its a darn shame alright for an ex-tradesman to bicker so long and forth over an issue that ICC itself has put to rest. Murali isn't simply to be understood for what he's accomplished on the cricketing field but for what he stands for in an ethnically divided society. A gentle giant within a polarised nation, he is to me a lasting hope of peace and unity to an Island once known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Awe-struck then but 17 years on, I take a bow now to you maestro!!

  • Shawry on December 3, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    Pradeep - to question the foundation of Australia and draw assertions towards the integrity of its current populace is deeply offensive. Particularly when it is done to defend a Tamil - given the hidden civil war, violence, terrorism and human rights atrocities that are being committed in Sri Lanka to this day. Get your own back yard in order before preaching elsewhere.

    N: on you list reasons to denigrate Warne - number 4 was a message that went to his ex-wife, after they had mutually agreed to separate and caused absolutely no issue. The only reason it hit the media is because the Warne family got paid big money for the story and have set the cash for the benefit of their children. I congratulate them for harvesting the mindless spending of people like you on trash magazines to fund their own lives.

  • eddy on December 3, 2007, 13:06 GMT

    i'm not sure whetther he chucks or not but i do like him as a bowler and as a man. His smile is always on show even when he's hit for four. To compare him with Warne is, in my opinion, is unfair. Warne mastered the hardest art in cricket, legspin. Warne also had to put up with sharing wickets with McGrath and co for most of his career. Murali has the 'Richard Hadlee' effect. one great bowler with not much else. Hadlee finished with more wickets than Marshall, Khan, Lillee, Ambrose....how?, he didnt have to share! Saying Murali is better than Warne because he has more wickets or better avg or whatever doesnt tell the full story. It's like saying Tendulkar is better than Lara because he has 3 more tons. Tendulkar and Murali crunch numbers like no other players before them, but Warne and Lara make you think of magic.

  • wasim on December 3, 2007, 13:04 GMT

    i think it is a gr8 achievement and a slap on the faces of his critics

  • David on December 3, 2007, 13:01 GMT

    We the Australians salute you Murali. Well done mate!

  • raj a tamil on December 3, 2007, 13:01 GMT

    It is finally a chance for the Murali's adversaries fire on all cylinders again before he reaches 1000 wickets target. Please keep firing, while I truly enjoy Murali's bowling and his opponents admire him with respect for his humbleness, integrity and assasin smile.

  • Shawry on December 3, 2007, 13:00 GMT

    Those that defend Murali's action in the face of the ICC tests are absolutely correct. The measurements were done and his degree of flex came in at about 12-13 degrees. The accepted degree of flex is 15 degrees. Brett Lee has a degree of flex also - but well within the 15 degrees.

    The really big difference is, when Murali was tested, the accepted tolerancec for a slow bowler was 5 degrees. The rules were changed to keep him in the game. For a pace bowler, the rules have been consistent throughout Lee's career - 15 degrees.

    Fact - Murali spent the first part of his career bolwing with an illegal action. He was a chucker.

    Whether he still is, particularly after long spells and when the pitch isn't helping him is up to question. Then again, so is the action of every bowler in those conditions. Everybody gets tired and their action breaks down, or an effort ball changes things slightly. The fact he starts so very close to the limit with his stock ball is a risk.

    But then, the ICC has made him a protected species so we'll never know.

  • rahul on December 3, 2007, 12:58 GMT

    Hey Murli is a chucker.....he has taken 30% of wickets against the minnows. His bowling avg. against India is 33 and against Australia 34. So does that make him a greatest one ever, certainly not. Sydney Barnes has to be the best ever. He took 189 wickets from 27 matches with 24 5-wicket hauls. That gives an average of 7 per match. Murali's avg wickets per match is 6.1. So, now you decide...whoz the best ever???

  • rahul on December 3, 2007, 12:57 GMT

    Hey Murli is a chucker.....he has taken 30% of wickets against the minnows. His bowling avg. against India is 33 and against Australia 34. So does that make him a greatest one ever, certainly not. Sydney Barnes has to be the best ever. He took 189 wickets from 27 matches with 24 5-wicket hauls. That gives an average of 7 per match. Murali's avg wickets per match is 6.1. So, now you decide...whoz the best ever???

  • dr nanga swaami on December 3, 2007, 12:56 GMT

    ALAS..!!! a RECORD well made and well broken ..ALL HAILS to the WORLDS GREATEST CRICKETER and he has written his name amoungst the greats of the game like IMRAN KHAN , WASIM , WAQAR , KAPIL DEV, SIR RICHARD HADLEE, and DON BRADMAN(well hes of no comparison whatsoever)

  • Ratu Valevo on December 3, 2007, 12:54 GMT

    Murali, a champion bowler and a a champion human being.Well done.

  • Shawry on December 3, 2007, 12:52 GMT

    Let's not run Murali down for the spineless actions of the cricketing world around him.

    He had no control over the ICC and their shameless money grab to the sub-continent when they changed the law to accomodate him. He just went on and bowled.

    Nor is he responsible for the shameless pandering he gets from Sri Lankan curators who prepare pitches specifically with a view to his bowling leaving them unplayable on days 4 and 5 - he just goes out and bowls.

    Nor does he control who Sri Lanka are fixtured to play against, and the quality of the batting - he just goes on and bowls.

    Congratulations to the man for this honour. Let us credit this feat he has achieved, All the while maintaining his humility. How easily he could have let it all go to his head, especially given how the world seems to be bent over to keep him happy.

    Lets leave the blame at the feet of the authorities that have savaged and butchered this great game in the chase for the almighty dollar.

  • Sam on December 3, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    Congratulations Muralii for the unreachable achievement.. All of those comments against you are because of, you are a real hero which they can't even think about and you have beaten all of their heroes..!!

  • Rizmy on December 3, 2007, 12:47 GMT

    Ma heartiest congratulations to Murali, on this great achievement, hope u will achieve the humanly impossible and get 1000+ test scalps!!But its sad to see all the crappy messages posted on this blog, arguing about his action. His action was cleared by a panel of professionals who are way ahead in experience and cricketing knowledge than anyone of us here, debating on Murali's action!! So its about time that we all came to terms with the reality and embraced the champion bowler for the true genius he is!

  • Adam on December 3, 2007, 12:45 GMT

    Look, Mirali seems to be a lovely bloke, but seriously, if he had played in the same team as McGrath, he would have 200-300 fewer wickets to his name.

  • Pankaj on December 3, 2007, 12:45 GMT

    Western people doesnt suppport the Asian talent. Their real heros thoughts are bounded with boundaries. If we talk about cricketing heros they only support Bradman, Steve waugh, ponting, warne, Mc Grath, Lara etc and treat the most profilic talent like Akram, Tendulkar, Murli, Kapil, Imran as a normal. NO JUSTIFICATION AT ALL IT LOOKS HOPELESS CASE. Sorry champs you cant be a great cause you belongs to wrong continent.

    Here are some RUBISH excuses: Sachin has all the batting records cause he is opener and scored run on Asian batting pitches. Can anyone let us know is there any batsman who has became batting pillar of team with 100% dependency for more than a decade. Murali is a chucker whether he is cleared by ICC but no one knows abt Bret Lee action cause he is Australian. Mc Grath is better than Wasim akram while Grath most wickets are agianst week batting sites. Shane warne is best spinner ever while Indian batsmen gave him treatment like street bowler.

  • N on December 3, 2007, 12:45 GMT

    congrats to murli...please dont insult him by comparing him to warne. Have you ever heard murli doing any of the following things? 1. Taking banned substances 2. Having mode than friendly meeting with various women where ever he plays 3. Then following the above by sending them text messages 4. including such a text message to his wife(which was meant for other woman)

    Hence murli is the greatest. Remember that murli is respected in india, where as warne is not even feared by the Ranji teams in india.

  • Pradeep Gamage on December 3, 2007, 12:44 GMT

    Australia is a country originated by cut throats and outlaws. No wonder that they are insulting a humble man like Murali. He is far beyond their league!!!!

  • AussieDave on December 3, 2007, 12:40 GMT

    Taking nothing away from Muralis brilliance, Warne is still the better bowler BECAUSE he had all those fast bowlers taking wickets with him. Whereas SL relied more heavily on Murali. Still, were are privaleged to have seen two great spin bowling geniuses in the same generation. Congrats Murali.

  • john on December 3, 2007, 12:39 GMT

    Rowen and who ever else says he chucks are you guys stupid? He has been tested so many times and it does not help if his elbow is bent because he uses his wrist and shoulder for all the turn he gets. I know his arm looks bent when he bowls but it is all an optical allusion. watch videos of him in super slow mo which is at 3000 frames per second compared to ur eyes which is 25 frames per second then make ur mind up until then keep ur mouth shut coz u dnt know what ur talking bout

  • Asela on December 3, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    Well done... Murali. A true son of mother lanka has shown the world what a great sportsman he is.. On and off the field. I believe Murali is a legend not because of his achievements alone, but also with the stupid rude comments he is getting from jealous ppl who do not want to see his success.

    Ppl who know and love the game truly knows what a genious you are.... Go get ur 1000... Good luck.

  • dann on December 3, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    Great true champion bolwer ever!! humbled smiling!! guys like rowan will go in to catogory of Jhone Howard cant bat or bowl. but talks like Kings of kings!! thats what happen to Howard too. he talk murali chucker next day we saw him bowling on TV!!ask for channel 9 for footage!! poor bugger!!nothing to say more!!ohh dear!! and as if bret lee doesnt chuk at all!! i doubt whether you can hold the bowl properly.not being aussie doesnt mean you cant get higher you stupid people!!

  • Sanj on December 3, 2007, 12:35 GMT

    Bradman said murali's action was fine without recourse to biomechanics..People need to take his thoughtful intelligent comments unlike the unintelligent comments made by some contributors. I wonder whether if Murali was white whether you would have these unkindly words being said about him. I am sure in the end history and common sense will judge him to be what pele is to football a true genius. Well done murali your success has been against adversity on the field and unfair ignorant adversity off the field.

  • Daya on December 3, 2007, 12:31 GMT

    The whole island congratulates you. We are so proud of you. Here are our best wishes for you to achieve the next target of 1000 wickets

  • dave on December 3, 2007, 12:19 GMT

    To all the people who insult this great hero, understand one thing, take a look at the actions of other great fast bowlers that no one dares speak about, present bowling spearhead from australia is a great example amongst a few others from asia, they go ignored, but thats fine as the true champion Murali faced all tests and came out fine, So all you BLOKES, please stand up and cheer the 'true' champion of spin.

  • Crusty on December 3, 2007, 12:17 GMT

    Thanks to the ICC, Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar do not have dubious actions, and nor does Murali...

  • Manish Arora on December 3, 2007, 12:16 GMT

    It is so disheartning to see some of the comments about Murali being called chucker.This is a time when we all should stand and salute the feat of a great cricketer who has given spin bowling an impetus in the modern day cricket which favours the batsmen just a bit too much.The comparison with Shane Warne is a never ending debate. Both of them will always be remembered as the gems of spin bowling. Having said that, Murali deserves the applaud and respect for the great feat he has accomplished. 1000 should be the next target and his feat is a testimony of the sheer cricketing talent he has. Cheers Murali!!!

  • Theena on December 3, 2007, 12:15 GMT

    Rob, I’d reconsider the usage of the “tigerish” adjective when describing a Tamil man, especially a Sri Lankan Tamil.

    Rowan,

    To you I’d like to quote a line from Derek Pringle’s article on the Daily Telegraph yesterday: “As one Test cricketer recently confided, you could allow everyone to throw and break the current laws as much as they liked and they'd never match Murali's control and turn.”

    Utilizing your logic, Rowan, I realized that I, too, can bowl ripping leg spinners using a tennis ball. Does that make me a better leg spinner than Warne? Pray tell.

    Perhaps the world of cricket needs another 20 years before we realize how incredibly fortunate we were to witness two astounding geniuses at their pomp at the same time – just as we will to have witnessed Lara and Tendulkar. Perhaps with hindsight we’ll realize how unnecessary comparisons are. In a game that is increasingly batsman-friendly, it is a pleasure to watch two men continue to confound, confuse, outwit and generally scare opposition batsmen using not thunderbolts, but ripping spin and towering genius. That, to me, makes them both champions.

    End of story.

  • Rajan on December 3, 2007, 12:15 GMT

    Uncomparable performer. What an achievement. Torch bearer of srilanka and bcoz of him (to some extent vaas) Srilanka is a cricketing force. Cannot imagine where Srilanka will be without him. Most lovable person who replies to his critics with a big smile. Very difficult to find such personalities in the present world of sports.

    I wish him many more success

  • dave on December 3, 2007, 12:14 GMT

    you're kidding aren't you?? a record obtained by a chucker taking bucketloads of cheap wickets against third rate sides is nothing but a fraud. it's just sad that the ICC has been so petrified it will be labelled racist if it supports the umpires who have been brave enough to no-ball him that they've allowed it to get to this stage.

  • chandru arni on December 3, 2007, 12:09 GMT

    He is the same league as Bradman.If in each of the seven categories to the right of the wickets column – best bowling, best match bowling, average, economy rate, strike rate, five-fors and 10-fors – Murali bests Shane Warne, there is a class difference berween them. Then when you compare his behaviour and manners on and off the fiels, he is way ahead of Shane Warne.

  • DHAMMIKA SILVA on December 3, 2007, 12:08 GMT

    Greatest achivment as a cricketer with lot of enemys. Thanks to Arjuna for saved Murali as gretest bowler we ever seen in cricket world.

  • Ravi on December 3, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    It is a sad day for cricket as a cricketer with a most dubious and diabolical action is hailed as a world beater. However murali has the distinction of bringing in terms like 'bent elbow', 'Degree of flexion' unheard of before his advent into Cricket. And the authorities duly obliged by doing their own version of the doosra this time by bending the rules!

  • Chatli on December 3, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    OGS, rob isn't implying anything, just stating the fact that brett lee's action was called under question at one point. good on ya murali, 5 more in the this test match wud help a long way towards a england defeat though

  • iqbal on December 3, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    the smiling assassin. Murali besides being a champion bowler, comes out as being a decent humble human being- a rare character in this money-frenzy and greed-is-good era that modern sport finds itself in!

    Well done Murali- you have brought a smile to every cricket lover, pride to our small troubled nation of Sri Lanka and my wish is that you go on to conquer 1,000 plus wickets!

  • natarajan tanjore on December 3, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    Come on guys, In case of Murali it is clearly a physical deformity of which he has no control! He was tested with wires attached all over his body in Australia and cleared for his actions! When it comes to chuckers like brett lee, the aussie mates suddenly clam shut, like a obstinate virgin! As far as bishen singh bedi goes, we all know what a wimp he was when he took away the batsmen from the ground fearing hostile bowling! Richie benaud cant see anyone great beyond the aussie shores! So who cares if Richie benaud or bishen has murli in their list or not? As far as warnie goes, he came a cropper against india in india as well as in Australia! By the way Glen mcgrath gets billing as a top bowler by the dominant aussie press, however when the same number of wickets are taken by kumble and murli in fewer tests, they are not bracketed in the same league,as both of them dont shake their head constantly, or abuse the batsman when they get hit for four / six!

  • iqbal on December 3, 2007, 12:02 GMT

    the smiling assassin. Murali besides being a champion bowler, comes out as being a decent humble human being- a rare character in this money-frenzy and greed-is-good era that modern sport finds itself in!

    Well done Murali- you have brought a smile to every cricket lover, pride to our small troubled nation of Sri Lanka and my wish is that you go on to conquer 1,000 plus wickets!

  • Suren on December 3, 2007, 12:01 GMT

    A true cricketer of the gentlemens game On and Off the field. Congradulations to a true Champion. Hope this opens the eyes of the majority to realise that Sinhalese or Tamil all are Sri Lankans.

  • Bernard on December 3, 2007, 11:58 GMT

    Murali,best bowler of the our times.I am proud to be a Anthonian & a Sri lankan

  • Kumar on December 3, 2007, 11:54 GMT

    His hard work, consentration & positive thoughts with a "trade mark smile" paid him off! Our heartiest congratulations! Well done Murali!

  • Niranjan on December 3, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    He's a chucker...don not even compare him to Warne...

  • vinod on December 3, 2007, 11:51 GMT

    well Rowan..........!!! the difference between you and murali is u can spin a tennis ball on a concreate surface because u chuck....and murali can spin a hard season ball on any surface inspite of not chucking...... so...instead of claming that u can spin the ball with his action when u chuck, try spinning the same ball by not chucking.....u can't, but murali can......

  • Sam Taylor on December 3, 2007, 11:51 GMT

    Congratulations to Murali for pulling off the biggest heist since the Great Train Robbery. Well done.

  • SAMUK on December 3, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    True champion weldone Murli sorry Rowan If you can 10 wickets Iam Happy

  • Brick on December 3, 2007, 11:42 GMT

    He chucked when he started, the Asian bloc changed the rules, he still chucks his doorsa. Now the cricket world is blighted with Kirtly, Hayward, Malik, Botha, Aktar that will be Murali's legacy.

  • Charles on December 3, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    What an achievement, better than Warne not only in the records. Unlike Warne, Murali never had (1) a dominant batting side, (2) strong fast bowler support, (3) large totals being defended, and (4) the backroom unrivalled in world cricket. If nothing else, that makes Murali the greatest. Oh yes, add the character, humility and integrity, if nothing else.

  • Merv on December 3, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    He is a chucker an shame on the ICC for changing the rules to accommodate his chucking action. Benaud wouldn't consider him in his top 11 and Bishen Bedi (a south Asian) called him a 'Javelin Thrower'.

  • Amir Chan on December 3, 2007, 11:39 GMT

    Yes, he has broken a record. I am sure there will be somebody to break this.

  • Dave on December 3, 2007, 11:36 GMT

    Warney is still number one when it comes to the most affairs by a cricketer to feature in a tabloid!

  • ankur saxena on December 3, 2007, 11:32 GMT

    world's best will hold he record forever...

    i doubt no other bowler will match upto his evenal tally and talent...

    the times he's been through were more harsh than for any other cricketer...

    also we must not forget the great Arjuna...had he not backed our murli, we would never have seen those astonishing spells...

    hats of murli...you'll rule the world forever

  • Hema D on December 3, 2007, 11:28 GMT

    The humility with which you accept your success is greater than the success in itself. We admire you for the great achivements. Keep going until you reach 1000 or even better. With all good wishes.

  • jan4cricket on December 3, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    Congrats Murali! You are undoubtedly the greatest bowler the world have ever known. This is more due to your character & never-say-die spirit than your huge tally of wickets. Game on for 1000 wickets!

  • Ravishankar on December 3, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    Controversy apart ,Murali is a great example of a figher,a true sportsman and a team man.He had been an ambassadar for the Srilankan brand of cricket.

  • OGS on December 3, 2007, 11:22 GMT

    Rob Steen are you implying Brett Lee chucks? If so, don't be so gutless and come out and write it.

  • Vasudevan on December 3, 2007, 11:16 GMT

    He is all time champion for spin bowling. He redefined the spin bowling with his doosras. I wish him to reach the magical figure of 1000 wkts to reach in is test career.He is such a wonderful human being off the field.

  • Bing on December 3, 2007, 11:15 GMT

    The Bradman of bowling, no doubt. He'll reach a thousand wickets if he goes on like this. Well done!

  • Rowan on December 3, 2007, 11:08 GMT

    He still chucks!! I can spin a tennis ball on concrete when I chuck!

  • kaushik on December 3, 2007, 11:07 GMT

    A true champion ... a legend ... a genius ... our heartiest congratulations to Murali! Hope, he continues to 1000, as famously proclaimed by him in his typical humble way long time back ...

  • Foumy on December 3, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    what an achievement to reach it at home soil and also at a veneue in his hometown. As a cricket lover and a Sri Lanken. I salut and am proud of this impotant milestone which I persume will be very hard to crack for a long time or persumebly never.

  • R ShankarNarayanan on December 3, 2007, 10:57 GMT

    Amazing Champion. He has been the bedrock of Sri Lankan bowling and its many significant victories in all forms of the game against all kinds of oppositions in the world of cricket. I think every batsman in the world has struggled to get the better of him. Warne was frequently belted all around the park by Indian batsmen but Murali was unreadable by the same set of blokes who are supposed to be wonderful players of spin. I am delighted with his achievement as he is A MADRAS(CHENNAI) SON IN LAW-He is married to a girl from Chennai.

  • Tazzcricket on December 3, 2007, 10:53 GMT

    The greatest bowler the world has ever known and a humble and decent man with it !! you are legend and a true great, heres to you reaching 1000 !!

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  • Tazzcricket on December 3, 2007, 10:53 GMT

    The greatest bowler the world has ever known and a humble and decent man with it !! you are legend and a true great, heres to you reaching 1000 !!

  • R ShankarNarayanan on December 3, 2007, 10:57 GMT

    Amazing Champion. He has been the bedrock of Sri Lankan bowling and its many significant victories in all forms of the game against all kinds of oppositions in the world of cricket. I think every batsman in the world has struggled to get the better of him. Warne was frequently belted all around the park by Indian batsmen but Murali was unreadable by the same set of blokes who are supposed to be wonderful players of spin. I am delighted with his achievement as he is A MADRAS(CHENNAI) SON IN LAW-He is married to a girl from Chennai.

  • Foumy on December 3, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    what an achievement to reach it at home soil and also at a veneue in his hometown. As a cricket lover and a Sri Lanken. I salut and am proud of this impotant milestone which I persume will be very hard to crack for a long time or persumebly never.

  • kaushik on December 3, 2007, 11:07 GMT

    A true champion ... a legend ... a genius ... our heartiest congratulations to Murali! Hope, he continues to 1000, as famously proclaimed by him in his typical humble way long time back ...

  • Rowan on December 3, 2007, 11:08 GMT

    He still chucks!! I can spin a tennis ball on concrete when I chuck!

  • Bing on December 3, 2007, 11:15 GMT

    The Bradman of bowling, no doubt. He'll reach a thousand wickets if he goes on like this. Well done!

  • Vasudevan on December 3, 2007, 11:16 GMT

    He is all time champion for spin bowling. He redefined the spin bowling with his doosras. I wish him to reach the magical figure of 1000 wkts to reach in is test career.He is such a wonderful human being off the field.

  • OGS on December 3, 2007, 11:22 GMT

    Rob Steen are you implying Brett Lee chucks? If so, don't be so gutless and come out and write it.

  • Ravishankar on December 3, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    Controversy apart ,Murali is a great example of a figher,a true sportsman and a team man.He had been an ambassadar for the Srilankan brand of cricket.

  • jan4cricket on December 3, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    Congrats Murali! You are undoubtedly the greatest bowler the world have ever known. This is more due to your character & never-say-die spirit than your huge tally of wickets. Game on for 1000 wickets!