Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day July 22, 2010

One of my greatest moments - Murali


Muttiah Muralitharan has said that retiring after taking his 800th wicket and helping Sri Lanka win his farewell Test, against India in Galle, was one of the greatest moments in his life. Murali's 800th was the last Indian wicket in the follow-on, after which Sri Lanka chased the target of 95 without losing a wicket.

"I am very happy that God has given me everything - eight wickets, a victory, basically everything. This is one of the greatest moments in my life, retiring this way," Murali said. "I am not emotional in a way, frankly, I am happy that I have done it. I trained really hard. Even last week, I trained hard to play in this Test match and take it very seriously."

Murali had to wait and toil for his 800th wicket, that of Pragyan Ojha, but he said the landmark was just a number and achieving it was not a high priority. "Eight hundred is only a number. We wanted to get the wickets quickly. You never know in Galle, with the weather, winning the match was the important thing," he said. "At that time I didn't think about it, but it came in the end. I wouldn't have minded if it didn't come. My only scare was when Lasith Malinga had to go off the field.

"I told my captain [Kumar Sangakkara] to somehow get the wickets. We knew the situation in Galle and had the match ended in a draw it would have been very sad. I badly wanted to win in my final Test. We all play for a win. At that moment we would have taken even a run out. It was hard work for the spinners. The wicket had something on it yesterday, and Malinga's magnificent yorkers made the difference."

Murali also said that he had quit Test cricket at the right time, with Sri Lanka having younger spinners rising through the ranks. "I have played for 18 years and I thought that there are three other good spinners in the side," he said. "They are 24-25 years old and I am 38. I thought it's better to give them a chance. I have nothing more to achieve and I thought this is the right time.

"I chose to finish my career at the end of the first Test because I know my knees are not going to last to bowl 50-60 overs. If I am there it will be four spinners and only two can play. I will be blocking the place of another young spinner."

Murali also had praise for the curator at Galle, Jayananda Warnaweera, and thanked him for helping make his farewell memorable. "Galle is one of my favourite grounds because there is always a result. Warnaweera prepares good wickets and we won the match in four days. He gave me a good farewell and the way he decorated the stadium was unbelievable."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nandika on July 28, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    Murali is the greatest bowler ever.Like Sir don bradman.i know lot of people jelous about his records and talent.thats why bishan bedi is crying like a baby calling murali chucker.bedi is like a inter club bowler not even close to harbajan talents.well he has proved his cleaness of his action.tell me is there any other bolwer who tested his action himself.NOne.only murali.even shoun pollock magrath bret lee harbajan got suspected actions but they never called chuckers.some times bret lee also chucking with his action when we saw replay.Now a six-man ICC committee, convened in Dubai, have given the green light to all bowlers kinking their arms by 15 degrees.Technological research showed that even those assumed to have pure actions like South Africa's Shaun Pollock and Australian Glenn McGrath "chuck" the ball to some extent.see what ICC said. jelous people see this also see this skynews explanation http://www.hilalscricke

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    No doubt Murali is a great Chucker of all time and it's a shame that he was allowed to play for so many years! He is a Chucker! period.

  • Eranda on July 27, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    Murali was the best at all time in test cricket. there is no doubt at all. but the shame to me why some of people trying to talk about his action of bawling. I know, because no one will able to reach Murali's land mark. Don't be jealous with him cos he is the MASTER among the masters of both test and one day cricket. Don't even think to compare Murali with Warne..... it will give more credit to murali. good on you Master Murali.. !!!!

  • Ananth on July 25, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    many people still say he chucks/throws after official clearance, which too has been pointed out by many...i am not an ardent fan of murali but let me ask all these thoughtless chucking commentators one thing - if you have played cricket at any level, try to 'chuck/throw' the ball and see if you can get it right first and more importantly, whether you find it easier to spin, turn the ball...even if you want to chuck, just throwing it fast is easy but spinning/flighting it effectively - impossible to do..and he didnt get 800 +500 wkts in some street level games - he got it in international cricket. So, people who are still talking about him being a chucker - atleast use your brain, go chuck in your backyard a 1000 times and see ifyou can get it right - you will do better when you bowl, which is what murali did all the time..arms bending, etc is all incidental..WELL DONE MURALI..TRULY GREAT SPORTSMAN WHO ACCEPTED DEFEAT/CRITICISM MAGNANIMOUSLY AND JUST WENT ABOUT HIS BUSINESS..

  • Vikash Raja on July 25, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    seems like d aussies can't just accept tat murali has d record for d highest no of wickets.. Warne wasn't born with a crooked arm.Murali's action ain't wrong.. He deserves his spot at d top.. Hats off.. Great Gentlemen n Generous human being oo..

  • Madmast on July 25, 2010, 1:56 GMT

    I am a big big fan of Murali. But we all know that he does not bowl....he throws. Just like Shoaib. Bent elbows. I love Murali, but his image is always tarnished. ICC was cowardly because BCCI supported Murali. No one can go against the BCCI. They are the BOSS.

  • paul on July 25, 2010, 0:41 GMT

    Based on pure stats alone - they never lie - Murali is quite simply the greatest wicket taking spin bowler of all time. I believe he was/is better than Warne; his figures having played even less tests are far superior to his yet ex players/pundits such as Atherton and Hussain still would have you believe otherwise?!! Fred Trueman once said that no one woud ever take 300 test wickets and that was regarded as THE benchmark figure up (and in) to the modern era. Murali retires with 2.5 x that many and whatever anyone else says; at least Warne admiited it himself his final total of 800 wll never be surpassed. Legal or not Murali turned it more often, against more men, more effectively and more consistently than any other bowler before him. Brian Lara apart he bamboozled batsmen all over the world, on all tracks and in all conditions and yet he'll still go down as the bowler who legitimised throwing!!!He deserves better.

  • Jal on July 24, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    Greatest bowler of all time! No bowler had to put up with the jealously towards him that Murali did. He could have finished with 1000 if he didn't unfairly lose wickets to ignorant officials that didn't like the fact that he as from Sri Lanka. Even Shane Warne, his closest contemporary rival, claims Murali had a "completely legit delivery". What is most disturbing is that Murali is often described as honest, classy, and fair. The people who claim otherwise have no idea what sporting is.


  • Mithila on July 24, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    Murali is without any doubt The greatest Test bowler ever! His bowling action has been cleared by the best scientists using the best technology. A bowler with a complex action, such as Murali cannot be called for chucking by the naked eye. Naturally, people who are not intelligent enough to understand this will say he is a chucker. And so will some Aussies for obvious reasons !!!

  • Anthony on July 24, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    The greatness of Murali is even more evident from his decision to retire when securing 8 wickets to reach the magical 800 appeared unlikely before his final Test match. Yet he achieved that landmark fair and square when it seemed impossible before the start of the Test Match. One of your contributors appears to suggest that it will also be the death knell of Sri Lankan cricket when Murali has gone. Lets wait and see whether he will retract his assertion and made to eat humble pie. He also says that Murali is a cheat. Then how would this person brand his idol who had taken drugs and was consequently banned from international cricket for a year? Should this cricketer have been banned for life like Olympic Gold medalists who have taken drugs or was the ICC not pandering to Australia in this instance? This contributor is clearly a man of double standards. As regards Darrel Hair this umpire achieved his 15 minutes of fame because of Muralitharan. By the way who is and where is Ross Emerson?

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