Muttiah Muralitharan July 17, 2010

'I am happy people are not asking me to go'


Murali the Magician. The Greatest Ever Bowler in the World. One and Only Murali. Spin Wizard. Thank you Murali. Another Milestone. I can bat too! A Glorious Cricketing Career.

All the stands, temporary and permanent, at the Galle International Stadium, bear an imprint of Sri Lanka's greatest cricketer. Simple hoardings with Murali on them and a message saying thank you and goodbye. There are, of course, small advertisements on these hoardings, but that is the reality of modern cricket.

"Everything will be like Murali," said Jayananda Warnaweera, the chief groundsman in Galle, on what was in store for the farewell.

Muttiah Muralitharan is not overwhelmed. Not much has overwhelmed him in his career, but he likes what he sees. "I would like to thank the cricket board and the groundsman, [Jayananda] Warnaweera, for arranging such a great thing in Galle," a not-overly-emotional Murali said. "It is a great honour for me to retire like this."

The last week must have been an interesting time for the offspinner, who is approaching the end of something special, something satisfying - a journey that brought trials as much as it did joy; brickbats as much as applause. Murali, though, said he hasn't been thinking about all that. "I never dreamt I would be finishing like this," he said. "I think I had a great finish because I have done very well in Test cricket. You can't get the record easily; so many people have tried and I am the best at the moment. Because of that, I have no regrets.

"God has given me everything, I am fulfilled with that. I am not sad, I am very happy with what I have achieved and I am glad I am going out in a good manner because people are not asking me to go. They are asking me to stay. Still I want to go because this is the manner I want to go out in. I am not dreaming about any past performance or anything. I am thinking only about the next match, finish well and retire properly.

Starting the match eight wickets from the 800-mark, Murali, who has almost every aggregate record to his name, is not worried about numbers. Enjoying this last game, he said, was more important. "If I could take eight in the first innings, Sri Lanka will win easily. It is not going to be easy, they have such a good batting line-up.

I will try all my tricks in the middle for the last time. Let's see if it works or not. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I am going to really enjoy the game rather than thinking about how many wickets I am going to need. Just enjoy the game and not put much pressure on myself. If I didn't get a single wicket or if I take five wickets, I will be very happy."

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    Murali all the best man .... you are the greatest bowler ever on earth.... everyone knows that.... thank you for all the excitement you made in spin bowling and it was great to witness you since the start of the carrier. There will be only one Murali and we are sad that the chapter is ending but you choose to go at a high and we salute you. We all love you and wish you all the very best in post test life....

  • Anthony on July 21, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    To put it simply to all cricket fans, Sobers was the greatest alrounder, Bradman the greatest batsman and Muralitharan the greatest bowler. Kevin Pietersen paid the greatest tribute to Murali in the post match interview after the 2006 Test in England by calling him an absolute genius. To the few doubters, we rest our case and say no more!

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    Besides umpires, cricketers who called <b>Murali the Chucker/ Thrower</b> (1) New Zealand Martin Crowe, Mark Richardson (2) Australia: Umpire Ross (in match with west indies) and Darrell Hair (3) Barry Jarman, a former Australian wicketkeeper and the ICC match referee who first expressed misgivings about Murali's action in the early 1990s, railed. "It makes a joke of the game - it makes me sick talking about it," he said. "Everyone knows he bowls illegally. I saw a photo in the paper the other day and put my old school protractor on his arm. It was bent at 48 degrees. I put it up in the pub to show everybody."

    Whatever a sri lanka may say... Murali is a choker and a thrower

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    Let me set the record straight for Murali and Lankans who are ga ga over Murali. Murali is a chucker which is clear from his action. Muttia was regularly called for his choker action by umpires of repute who were fortunately not Indian. As far as Srilankan and their game is concerned, I remember that their umpires were as good as Pakistani umpires when the age of neutral umpires, third umpire was absent. Even Lasith Malinga is a side arm thrower. Sri Lanka can never win any match if they play decently with bowlers/ batsmen who are clean and were never in controversy. ICC rules were bent by might of India. While Bishan Singh Bedi, Anil Kumble, Shane Warne will be remembered as king of spins, Muttia will always be Chucker King

  • A on July 20, 2010, 2:53 GMT

    Let's set the record straight for Murali. Let's examine all of the facts and establish the truth. It is a fact that his elbow bends when he bowls. However, when ICC made a study, they found that almost every bowler's elbow bends at the time of delivery (Mcgrath was among the worst offenders BTW). Initially ICC came up with a decision that the bending will be restricted to 7 inches for spinners and 15 inches for fast bowlers. Then there was the question became how to distinguish a fast bowler from a spinner and also why discriminate. Eventually ICC decided that they will allow 15 inches of bending of the elbow for all and decided to clear Murali. So make things clear for attention hungry Bedi and other self appointed critics Murali has a perfectly legal action. Now legal action or not, claiming 800 test wickets has not been achieved before - even during the times where there no such close scrutiny of the bowling action that makes this persons record astounding. Celebrate Murali!

  • murtaza on July 19, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    mr, Zap Paz and Kunwar Hemant Singh you never know about spin bowling or Murali, I don´t know why you Indians are like this, I do not know why Bishan sing Bedi think that he was better spinner then Murali, I think no one rememberhim there for. But maybe you both have played only gully cricket and you just couldn´t bear that player like Murali is not from your country thats why you are jalus... I am sory for you.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    I am glad that the chucker is going

  • Shruti on July 19, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    Ever watched a Javelin thrower use a cricket ball and take 792 wkts?Muralitharan is that person.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    In the years to come, I will be able to tell people that I had the privilege of watching and cheering on the nation's greatest cricketer. Murali, you will always be the best and you deserve your place among the ranks of cricket's legends. No doubt in future matches there will be tense moments when we will catch ourselves saying, "If Murali was here, he'd win this match for us!" Good luck for your final matches, lucky 800!

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    For the first time due to him only .. the cricketing world started fearing off spin bowling ... even the best players of spin bolwing .. Indian and Pakistanai or even Srilankan(For those who played Murali in IPL) ... he is always been a big obsatcle in their path. One thing i personally think ..... there is some difference in the Murali majic we have seen in Subcontinent and rest of the world .. which needs to be changed by Murali for becoming the best ever bowler cricketing world has ever seen ... this is where Shane Warne has the upper hand. But taking nothing away from the black magician ... i think he has done that for Srilanka which Sachin has done for India... he has turned Srilanka from a minnow team into one of the best teams in the world. Wishing you Luck and Happiness for rest of his life.

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