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Sri Lanka tour of England, 2005-06

This could be my last tour to England - Murali

Cricinfo staff

April 30, 2006

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At 34, Muttiah Muralitharan accepts that he will not be able to play cricket forever © Getty Images
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Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's champion offspinner, says he hopes make his mark on what could turn out to be his last Test series in England.

"It could be the last tour for me - we may not be back until 2009 or 2010," he said. "How long my career will last I don't know, so I have to make it a memorable tour. I hope I can play for another three years - there is still a long way to go. I'll see after the World Cup how things go."

With 611 Test wickets to his name, Muralitharan, 34, refused to comment on how much further he could take that haul. "It's very hard to get 1,000 wickets - it could happen or it could not," he said. "If I play another five years then definitely I suppose I could take another 300 wickets. But I'd be 39 years old by then."

On his performance against Derbyshire yesterday - he took three wicket as the hosts were bowled out for 219 - Muralitharan said he was pleased and hoped it put him in good shape for next month's first Test at Lords's. "It's a big challenge - three Tests I hope to take a few wickets in and go away with happy memories," he said. "I'm very happy. I bowled well - it was a very slow wicket. I thought it was slow when I played before here, but this was the slowest. I bowled about 28 overs and I'm happy with how I've done. I'm just trying to make use of it for practice for the Lord's Test."

Muralitharan, one of the most controversial cricketers of the modern age, said he was comfortably satisfied with the tests taken on his action. "I've done all the tests you can do, and everything has come back fine - so there is nothing to prove any more," he said. "It doesn't affect me any more."

Sri Lanka play three Tests and five one-day internationals against England.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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