A fox is seen
At the age of 20, he makes his debut
against Australia at the Khettarama Stadium, and takes 3 for 141. Craig McDermott is his first wicket.
August 28, 1993
First of many
Takes 5 for 104
in South Africa's first innings in Moratuwa, his first five-wicket haul in Tests. His wickets include Kepler Wessels, Hansie Cronje and Jonty Rhodes.
March 11-15, 1995
Match-winner at work
Takes 5 for 64
in the second innings against of the Napier Test, and spins Sri Lanka to a 241-run win. It is their first overseas victory, and they eventually win the two-Test series 1-0.
December 27, 1995
Hair v Murali starts
Playing his 22nd Test, is no-balled by Darrell Hair seven times for a suspect action on the second day of the Boxing Day Test
at the MCG.
January 5, 1996
Emerson joins Hair
Ross Emerson, umpiring his first match, no-balls him for a suspect action in an ODI against West Indies
at Brisbane. Resorts to legspin; is still no-balled. The ICC investigates his action and clears him.
March 16, 1997
First centurion from Sri Lanka
Becomes the first Sri Lankan to reach 100 Test wickets, when he dismisses Stephen Fleming in the second innings of the Hamilton Test.
January 7-11, 1998
Ten-for for the first time
Takes his first 10-wicket haul, against Zimbabwe in the Kandy Test. Sri Lanka win by eight wickets, and his match figures of 12 for 117
are the then best by any Sri Lankan bowler in Test history.
Winner in a losing cause
Takes 16 wickets in two Tests in South Africa, but Sri Lanka lose the series 0-2.
April 15, 1998
Maiden ODI five
Takes his first five-wicket haul in ODIs - 5 for 23
as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 115 runs in Benoni.
August 7-11, 1998
Takes 16 for 220
- his career-best figures - in the one-off Test against England. Ben Hollioake becomes his 200th Test wicket. Sri Lanka win by 10 wickets, their first Test victory in England.
January 23, 1999
We have your back
Is no-balled again by Emerson for suspect action, in an ODI against England
in Adelaide. Ranatunga summons the Sri Lankan players to leave the field. Fourteen minutes are lost before play resumes.
His number is 26
Takes 26 wickets at an average of 19.84 in Sri Lanka's 2-1 series win in Pakistan, and follows it with another haul of 26, at 18.46 apiece, in a three-Test series at home against South Africa.
October 27, 2000
Kind of the ODI world
Takes 7 for 30
- then the best ODI figures - against India at Sharjah.
December 30, 2000
Second to Lillee
Takes his 300th Test wicket in his 58th Test when he dismisses Shaun Pollock in the first Test at Kingsmead.
Only Dennis Lillee, 55 Tests, has reached the milestone faster.
January 4, 2002
Denied by Vaas
Takes nine Zimbabwe wickets on the first day of the Kandy Test,
but misses out on the 10th when Chaminda Vaas dismisses Henry Olonga. Follows up his 9 for 51 in the first innings with 4 for 64 in the second. Equals Richard Hadlee's record of most 10 ten-wicket hauls in 15 fewer matches.
January 15, 2002
Second to none
In his 72nd Test, becomes the fastest to reach the 400-wicket landmark when he bowls Henry Olonga in the third Test
March 28, 2004
Is once again reported for a suspect action by match-referee Chris Broad. Broad feels that the action with which Murali delivers the doosra during the Test series against Australia is not legitimate.
Doosra no more
Undergoes tests on his action at the University of Western Australia in Perth. The ICC effectively outlaws his doosra, confirming that they are not about to increase the permitted five-degree tolerance level for spin bowlers to accommodate him. Sri Lanka Cricket instructs Muralitharan to stop bowling the doosra in international cricket. The ICC supports the decision.
May 8, 2004
Goes past Courtney Walsh's record for the most Test wickets when he claims Mluleki Nkala as his 520th wicket in the Harare Test.
June 4, 2004
Not looking forward to Australian hospitality
Is named in the squad to tour Australia despite his saying there is a possibility he could opt out of the series. Two weeks later, pulls out of the two-Test tour of Australia citing "personal reasons".
February 4, 2006
Undergoes another round of tests at the University of Western Australia in Perth to prove to the Australian crowds that his action is legitimate.
July 14, 2007
Rushing to No. 700
Takes the last wicket of the third Test
against Bangladesh to reach the 700-wicket milestone in his 113th Test. The last 100 wickets have come in 12 Tests.
December 3, 2007
The cat-and-mouse game ends
It's a party in Kandy after the local boy becomes the leading wicket-taker
in Test cricket, overtaking Shane Warne's record of 708 wickets. Muralitharan captured his 709th, that of Paul Collingwood in the first innings, in which he took six. He finished with nine in the Test.
January 24, 2009
500 and counting
The medium-pacers had left Pakistan in a shambles, and Muralitharan snaps up the final two wickets in Lahore
to complete an embarrassment for the hosts, and also nails his 500th ODI wicket. Only Wasim Akram has achieved the mark before him, and Sohail Khan's wicket leaves him three away from becoming the leading wicket-taker in both forms of the game.
February 5, 2009
ODI's highest wicket-taker
Gautam Gambhir's dismissal for 150 in Colombo
is Murali's 503rd in ODIs, making him the highest wicket-taker in this format as well, overtaking Akram's tally of 502.
July 6, 2010
Farewell to Test cricket
After an 18-year career, he announces that the Galle Test against India in July will be his last, though he says he will be available for the 2011 World Cup.
July 22, 2010
A perfect end
Murali needs eight wickets in his farewell Test, against India in Galle, to reach 800 Test wickets. He takes exactly eight - his 800th is caught at slip by Mahela Jayawardene - and Sri Lanka win by ten wickets.