Sri Lanka news July 30, 2009

Murali sets Test retirement date

  shares 48

Sri Lankan offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan has said he will retire from Test cricket next year. Murali, who is the highest wicket-taker in Tests with 770 wickets in 127 Tests, announced that the two-Test home series against West Indies in November 2010 would be his last.

Speaking at the end of the first ODI against Pakistan, in which he won the Man-of-the-Match award, the 37-year-old Murali said he would focus on playing one-day cricket until the 2011 World Cup, to be held in the subcontinent, and would thereafter stick to Twenty20 cricket.

"I am not going to play for a long time. Next year's West Indies series will be the last two Test matches I will be playing," Muralitharan said. "That's the right time for me because I will be 38 years old. The 2011 World Cup is my aim, but I will enjoy playing Twenty20 cricket for a few more years. "The hardest game in cricket is Tests. The hardest part is you have to take wickets and get batsmen out and sometimes you have to spend two days on the field. You have to mentally prepare yourself for every game. In Twenty20, you look to contain the batsmen and he tries some shots and gets out. Fifty-over cricket is also the same. In Test cricket you have to read the batsmen, set the fields properly and get the wickets."

Muralitharan missed Sri Lanka's 2-0 win in the recent three-Test series against Pakistan due to a torn tendon in his right knee, which could be one of the factors in his decision.

"I put in a lot of effort in the last one month to be fit," said Muralitharan. "I trained very hard with the physio Tommy [Simsek] and trainers Jade [Roberts] and Mario [Villavarayan] who helped me to get through the difficult period. I also enjoyed the rest. I trained hard although I knew my knee was not right.

Top Curve
Murali's milestones
  • August, 1992 - Murali made his Test debut against Australia at the Khettarama Stadium and took 3 for 141.
  • December, 1995 - No-balled by Darrell Hair seven times for a suspect action during the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
  • March, 1997 - Became the first Sri Lankan to reach 100 Test wickets.
  • January, 2002 - Became the fastest to reach the 400-wicket landmark. It took him only 72 Tests.
  • May, 2004: Went past Courtney Walsh's record for the most Test wickets when he claims his 520th wicket.
  • July, 2007 Reached the 700-wicket milestone in his 113th Test. The last 100 wickets came in 12 Tests.
Bottom Curve

"The doctors said that I have to go through with it and train harder. I can't go for an operation because I will be out for six to seven months. That will mean my career is almost over and that I am not going to play for a long time.

"A torn tendon is a very big injury and it will take a long time to heal. The best suggestion was for me to rest for two to three weeks, train hard and play with a little pain. I was prepared to go through with it. The doctors said that I can definitely play with the injury for about one to two years but in the end when I finish I will have to operate on it."

Muralitharan, who once harboured hopes of becoming the first bowler in Test history to take 1000 wickets, said the lack of Test cricket for Sri Lanka had made it difficult for him to achieve the milestone.

"If I am to get 1000 Test wickets we have to play Test matches regularly," Muralitharan said. "These days we play fewer Test matches."

In 2010, Sri Lanka have only the two-Test series at home against West Indies to look forward to. However, Muralitharan said 800 wickets would be a more realistic target as Sri Lanka are due to play two home Tests against New Zealand starting next month, followed by three Tests in India at the end of the year.

Muralitharan made his Test debut against Australia in 1992, and became Test cricket's leading wicket-taker when he went past Shane Warne's record of 708 wickets against England in December 2007, fittingly on his home ground in Kandy. He achieved the grand double of being the highest wicket-taker in ODIs as well when he went past Wasim Akram's record of 502 wickets in 2009.

He currently has 507 ODI wickets from the 330 ODIs played, at an average of 22.74. He has also featured in eight Twenty20 internationals, picking up 11 wickets at 16.81.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • redneck on August 6, 2009, 1:51 GMT

    i wonder how many aussies tried to comment on this page but werent posted??? me thinks quite a few! murali will always be remembered as one of the most controversial bowlers to ever grace the cricket field. i will give him credit for always smiling through out the many dramas of his career but i cant help but wonder is his nominated date of retirment because he doesnt want to tour australia again? and for the record i dont think Liquifier's comments represent the way most aussies think of murali, you only have to listen to the no ball chants form the crowd when he bowls down here to know what we really think!

  • DwightR on August 3, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    Saim93- I too always thought Murali would quit T20's after the world cup in 2010 then ODI's after the WC 2011 and continue to play Tests till he got a 1000 wickets or was unable to continue playing.

    Regardless Murali you are not only our nation's but the world's greatest bowler of all time...

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 1, 2009, 21:54 GMT

    I just wanted to add to the massive tributes paid already to Murali. He has been the most revolutionary bowler of my lifetime,when there have been a few, and totally beyond the mundane. Watching him has been a treat even when my own team's players have been fighting for their wickets. It is pity that he has not been spared a lot of controversy because he has always been one of the game's great entertainer's including the expression's upon releasing the ball-replicating certian traditional sri lankan masks. Always a fascination, his bowling has changed the whole concept of spin bowling. The smile too has been a great joy to see. Hope he reconsiders retirement.

  • sendanoop on August 1, 2009, 18:45 GMT

    Murali has made a right decision, a decision which majority - if at all any one - of the Indian players fail to make, at the right time. He is much more magnanimous an individual than Shane Warne, and comparisons are, but, not to stay.

    I wish him all the very best in his future endevours, and urge my Indian counterparts to follow the suit, rather than wait for the treatments dolled out to Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly....

  • Chan_LANKAN on August 1, 2009, 17:35 GMT

    huh.. ? minnows . ? datz really an unfair tag... dude.. If itz so what about his ODI record.. ? shame on you stupids. Dont you people know how may 5 wickets holds and 10 wickets holds he has against India, England,South Affrica, West indies,New zealand.. ? that count is enough to compete with Mr. SK warne who has only 10 - ten wickets 37- five wickets.. in 145 matches .. lol Murali has 22- ten wicket holds and 67- five wickets in 127 matches. hehehe and he hold the title for highest wicket taker in ODI as well.. NOW WHO IS THE BEST .. ? other thing is dnt u kno dat even the bangladeshi player are good at playing spinners.. ? and tracks in colombo doesnt spin always..DO SOME HOME WORK BEFORE SAY SOMETHING !!!!

  • Saim93 on August 1, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    This is weird, i always thought murali would leave T20,then ODI and then stick with tests.

  • Philip_Gnana on July 31, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    All good things must come to end at some point. Records, moments and memories will live. Thank you Murali for having kept the spirit of cricket bright. You have been fair and have fought for fairness right through. Not only have you done it in cricket, but you have showed the whole world what it takes to be a true gentlemen when you worked tirelessy in the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami. You were nursing injuries during that period, but you "spoke" by physically working for those who needed help. May God bless you and your family. Philip Gnana, Surrey.

  • husnifaizal on July 31, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    Murali is 1 f da best bowlers cricket hav cum across, so glad to say tht the highest wicket taker in both formats f da game is an sri lankan. What cn v ask more frm him, even tho wht i feel is he shud play test cricket, bcoz he has cme soo close to da 1000 wicket milestone. Which no other bowlers seem to be cmg evn closer. So he deserves to achieve da 1000 wicket milestone !!! Anyway thnx a lot murali 4 da memories!!!

  • tsenevir on July 31, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    Murali is a fighter, he never gave up during the chucking controversy, never when he had shoulder injury. Why now ? If you reflect on what is going on in SL cricket this seems to be part of the plan of Sanga+de mel politics. First it was Marvan, then Sanath, then Vassy, now Murali. Sanga, however, you may be talented as captain may be , you are not going to be successful if you try to push out legends due to your own insecurity. Murali deserves his chance at least another 2 years. All the new bee has not been consistent (Mendis, Hearath) et.al... Sanga you may have been lucky winning unprepared Pakistan with gambling, but I did not see any strategy. wait until you meet MS Doni or ponting. I hape Sanga you would not pushout, Prassanna Jayawardana as well as part of your grand scheme of politics. with that you and de mel have done the greatest damage to SL cricket since infamous South African tour in early 1980's

  • shihan12 on July 31, 2009, 15:24 GMT

    Murali you are a true gentlman.As sport lovers we really love you.No one can compare with you COZ YOU ARE THE NO 1 BOWLER!!!!!!!

  • redneck on August 6, 2009, 1:51 GMT

    i wonder how many aussies tried to comment on this page but werent posted??? me thinks quite a few! murali will always be remembered as one of the most controversial bowlers to ever grace the cricket field. i will give him credit for always smiling through out the many dramas of his career but i cant help but wonder is his nominated date of retirment because he doesnt want to tour australia again? and for the record i dont think Liquifier's comments represent the way most aussies think of murali, you only have to listen to the no ball chants form the crowd when he bowls down here to know what we really think!

  • DwightR on August 3, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    Saim93- I too always thought Murali would quit T20's after the world cup in 2010 then ODI's after the WC 2011 and continue to play Tests till he got a 1000 wickets or was unable to continue playing.

    Regardless Murali you are not only our nation's but the world's greatest bowler of all time...

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 1, 2009, 21:54 GMT

    I just wanted to add to the massive tributes paid already to Murali. He has been the most revolutionary bowler of my lifetime,when there have been a few, and totally beyond the mundane. Watching him has been a treat even when my own team's players have been fighting for their wickets. It is pity that he has not been spared a lot of controversy because he has always been one of the game's great entertainer's including the expression's upon releasing the ball-replicating certian traditional sri lankan masks. Always a fascination, his bowling has changed the whole concept of spin bowling. The smile too has been a great joy to see. Hope he reconsiders retirement.

  • sendanoop on August 1, 2009, 18:45 GMT

    Murali has made a right decision, a decision which majority - if at all any one - of the Indian players fail to make, at the right time. He is much more magnanimous an individual than Shane Warne, and comparisons are, but, not to stay.

    I wish him all the very best in his future endevours, and urge my Indian counterparts to follow the suit, rather than wait for the treatments dolled out to Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly....

  • Chan_LANKAN on August 1, 2009, 17:35 GMT

    huh.. ? minnows . ? datz really an unfair tag... dude.. If itz so what about his ODI record.. ? shame on you stupids. Dont you people know how may 5 wickets holds and 10 wickets holds he has against India, England,South Affrica, West indies,New zealand.. ? that count is enough to compete with Mr. SK warne who has only 10 - ten wickets 37- five wickets.. in 145 matches .. lol Murali has 22- ten wicket holds and 67- five wickets in 127 matches. hehehe and he hold the title for highest wicket taker in ODI as well.. NOW WHO IS THE BEST .. ? other thing is dnt u kno dat even the bangladeshi player are good at playing spinners.. ? and tracks in colombo doesnt spin always..DO SOME HOME WORK BEFORE SAY SOMETHING !!!!

  • Saim93 on August 1, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    This is weird, i always thought murali would leave T20,then ODI and then stick with tests.

  • Philip_Gnana on July 31, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    All good things must come to end at some point. Records, moments and memories will live. Thank you Murali for having kept the spirit of cricket bright. You have been fair and have fought for fairness right through. Not only have you done it in cricket, but you have showed the whole world what it takes to be a true gentlemen when you worked tirelessy in the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami. You were nursing injuries during that period, but you "spoke" by physically working for those who needed help. May God bless you and your family. Philip Gnana, Surrey.

  • husnifaizal on July 31, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    Murali is 1 f da best bowlers cricket hav cum across, so glad to say tht the highest wicket taker in both formats f da game is an sri lankan. What cn v ask more frm him, even tho wht i feel is he shud play test cricket, bcoz he has cme soo close to da 1000 wicket milestone. Which no other bowlers seem to be cmg evn closer. So he deserves to achieve da 1000 wicket milestone !!! Anyway thnx a lot murali 4 da memories!!!

  • tsenevir on July 31, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    Murali is a fighter, he never gave up during the chucking controversy, never when he had shoulder injury. Why now ? If you reflect on what is going on in SL cricket this seems to be part of the plan of Sanga+de mel politics. First it was Marvan, then Sanath, then Vassy, now Murali. Sanga, however, you may be talented as captain may be , you are not going to be successful if you try to push out legends due to your own insecurity. Murali deserves his chance at least another 2 years. All the new bee has not been consistent (Mendis, Hearath) et.al... Sanga you may have been lucky winning unprepared Pakistan with gambling, but I did not see any strategy. wait until you meet MS Doni or ponting. I hape Sanga you would not pushout, Prassanna Jayawardana as well as part of your grand scheme of politics. with that you and de mel have done the greatest damage to SL cricket since infamous South African tour in early 1980's

  • shihan12 on July 31, 2009, 15:24 GMT

    Murali you are a true gentlman.As sport lovers we really love you.No one can compare with you COZ YOU ARE THE NO 1 BOWLER!!!!!!!

  • Liquifier on July 31, 2009, 14:36 GMT

    As a biased Aussie, who absolutely adores Shane Warne, I must say that Murali is easily the best and most talented spinner I've ever come across. He epic failed in Aust in his last tour, but his stats stand out and are fair play.

    I think he's great irrespective of his action and want and need the world to know that most Aussie's appreciate and respect the man for his capabilities, not his controversy. Good man, great bowler, excellent cricket.

    The morons who compare Warne and Murali mistake the importance and difference between the two. Warne is a fantabulous bowler who was an amazing player for Aus, Murali is the same, however an eternal player who will forever be remembered as something different and in equal parts special. Long live Murali and his legacy. Good on him so proud as a bystander, SL cricket has prospered due to his efforts and steadfast nature.

  • pinn on July 31, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    No need to compare these 2 legends ! Just enjoy their game .

    Murali is awesome with his off-spin and surprise doosra ! ( I dont care about the aussies , ruling out the doosra as non-professional . ) . Cricket is not a physical game alone. When one uses his brain , it becomes more interesting ! Murali is a natural example ! What ever surface it is , he can take the spin from 90 to 180 !

  • PHANTOM-X on July 31, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    Murali and Warne are two different spin bowlers. They are the greatest ever spin bowlers the world had ever seen...!!! Warne took most of his wickets on fast tracks. Murali took most of his wickets on spinner friendly tracks...???? This is what most people think. If you have ever played Cricket in the sub continent you know how easy to play the spinners. Most tracks in Sri Lanka are flat and slow. Batsman have so much time to play there shots. they can adjust very easily. If you take warne's stats against India in India you will see the difference( Indian batsman thrashed warn to all corners ). Warne's main weapon was the fast flipper...It was use to trap and bowl batsman out. on fast Tracks was very affective. Most of his victims were weak against spin.

  • ArunKB on July 31, 2009, 11:07 GMT

    How difficult can it be for the Sri lankan Cricket Board to schedule a few 5 test series against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the Windies. Murali would surely get to more than a thousand wickets.

  • AdityaRavindran on July 31, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    Murali is undoubtedly one of the best spinners to have played the game. His ability to run thru any batting order is always a treat to watch. He is always a match winner for Sri Lanka and has proved it many a times. Murali quitting by end of next year is of course saddenning, but thats the way it is. We all love you Murali!!!!

  • cskp on July 31, 2009, 9:40 GMT

    There is nothing to dispute as to who Murali is. he in short, THE BEST! If Sachin is the patron saint for batting then Murali is for Bowling. for him to have performed for the years he has under the amount of preasure he has been through.... is truly great! A true servent of SL cricket. THANK YOU SIR...

  • Isra on July 31, 2009, 9:02 GMT

    Simply He IS THE LEGENT......

  • slcricket on July 31, 2009, 8:57 GMT

    The point about warne playing with better bowlers on his side and taking less wickets because of it is countered by the fact that he was able to take wickets thanks to good pressure from the other end by MaGrath and co.

  • Shafi79 on July 31, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    I think the whole nation of SL salutes you murali! Take a bow! I will not even bother with the ppl who even now cant show some respect for a true legend of the game. I think enough has been said about stats and wickets & strike rates, warne is a great bowler and so are you. What makes you great in my eyes, is the fact that you showed up at a time when we were the whipping boys of int cricket, it was you that has brought us where we are today and made our tiny little island proud. (of course ppl like Arjuna / Aravinda / Sanath & Vaasy all contributed), so thank you for all the joy you have brought us over the past two decades. I'm sure the whole nation wishes you all the very best .... but 2010 just seems all too soon ....

  • magikgihan on July 31, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    The best thing i have seen through Murali is his continuous and undiminish game attitude, even when the things are moving towards the opponent. His laughing face with slaughtering deliveries have never given a chance to an easy victory. Having started his career steadly but bagged the records so rapidly, murali has created a legend that will never be followed by any other off-spinner ever in history of cricket. Murali is equally fit in both forms of the game and even better in the shortest version, long tired spells in test cricket have paid him off the highest ten wicket haul record. when it comes to oneday format his sixty deliveries have alwayes made the difference between the winner and the looser, truely he scripted the wills tiltle for his Small conutry with a lagrge contibution. Being a revolutionary inventor of the doosra and many other tactics will be an all time manual for a blooming spinner. Now the time has come to say good bye to this wonderful Sri Lankan product.

  • pubudu on July 31, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    if u say murali is not the best bowler to play test cricket becouase he was helped by lack of good bowlers in the team, how u going to say don bradman is the best batsman ever. he played much of his career against england and scoreed most of the runs against them. there are others who have done the same, scored more runs against a same team. murali is the best bowler ever and sachin is the best batsman ever.

  • prasan_19695 on July 31, 2009, 7:26 GMT

    he is a true legend!!!!!!!!

  • Daiya on July 31, 2009, 6:46 GMT

    Both Warne and Murali are un-challenged in their respective skills. I do not say that 1 is better than the other. They are both brilliant and have the ability to get any batsmen out. It is just sad that some people do not respect them for who they are. Statements like the one about Muralli getting the majority of his wkts against minnows is uncalled for. Arguments that Muralli was playing with a weaker bowling unit and therefore got more wickets than Warne is also not relevant. The reason I say this is because with the likes of Mc Grath and the bowling unit that Aussie had means that the batsmen are constantly under pressure. Also the fact that Warne was probably bowling with a good total on the board (the same can't be said of SL) and had the opportunity of setting more attacking fields. Also a better bowling attack can make in-roads in to a batting order leaving a team 30 or 40 for 3 when Warne comes onto bowl. This adds to pressure compared to 60-100 for 1 or 0.

  • fanofteamindia on July 31, 2009, 6:15 GMT

    Murali is definitely one of the great players cricket has seen but definitely neither the greatest spinner nor the greatest bowler of all time.The greatest spinner should be Warne because he played nearly half of his test in Australia where pitches don't offer turn as pitches do in Srilanka.Moreover he had McGrath,Gillespie,Lee for company who were terrific wicket takers themselves whereas for Srilanka Vaas was the only other major wicket taker.We cannot judge the greatness of a player by his stats alone.Flintoff doesn't have impressive statistics but his influence on his teammates and opposition is unquestionable.But all said Murali is undoubtedly a great plyer.

  • siya775 on July 31, 2009, 6:06 GMT

    All dear cricket players,fans and supporters,english countries celebrating Sir Bredman cricket histry.why we not celebrating our world records players.Betting-SACHIN,spiner-MURALITHARAN and fast bowler-WASIM OR KAPIL? please give them respect to our SUPERSTARS.

  • giribabu on July 31, 2009, 6:05 GMT

    Thanks you so mcuh Muralli. I feel happy to have witnessed entire your career. Murali is one of the most respected personalities in World cricket. The respect is not earned by records but its earned by how you play cricket. Murali is the only guy who can come beside Sachin Tendulker, ofcourse the other Sri Lankan greats(Sanath, Sanga, Mahela) are equally respectable since they paly TRUE gentleman cricket.

  • bobagorof on July 31, 2009, 5:43 GMT

    I think it's pointless to argue who is/was the better bowler between Murali and Warne. There are arguments on both sides. But Murali was helped in his quest for wickets by the relative weakness of the rest of the Sri Lankan attack: the other bowlers were less likely to get wickets, so Murali had to shoulder the load himself. They both have exceptional strike rates (57.4 and 54.5), which indicates that their wickets came off roughly the same number of balls - Murali has just had the opportunity to bowl more balls (around 1300 more). So naturally he's going to take more wickets. And well done to him. He has been a wonderful servant for Sri Lanka over an extended period of time.

  • slowingdolphin on July 31, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    No one is guilty until proven! I hope Shak is some one that respects law and not take matters into own hands and pass judgements! The UNDERARM bowling by the chappels do deserve a special mention here! Gone are those days of enjoying number one status using video footage analysis from friendly channels and microphones. Every one has them these days and results are already showing! Can't win the T20, down by 1 in ashes (clash of the titans?) and god knows what is next!

  • Lakshanw on July 31, 2009, 3:53 GMT

    As always there are those who are jealous of Murali's achievement - he is the greatest bowler ever, in no uncertain terms. Shak01- follow your own advice - please do check Statsguru. Look at the averages, strike rates, 5 fors, 10 fors... any record he is there. It's not his fault that the ICC doesn't give Sri Lanka many matches as much as, say, Australia. Make a comparison of Murali and Warne without B'desh and Zimbabwe. Murali has taken 594 wkts in 102 matches and warne has 691 in 142 matches. At that rate if Murali played as many matches as Warne, he would have got about 800 wkts just against the stronger teams.

    Other than his bowling, he has been a great ambassador for the game. No scandals or drugs and any skeletons in closets... Thank you for all the entertainment Murali, and may you have fantastic future...

  • drmony on July 31, 2009, 3:52 GMT

    There're names come to our minds right away after mentioning a subject. Like, Batting --> Tendulkar, Fielding --> Rhodes Bowling --> Murali

  • Sampath_KCS on July 31, 2009, 3:28 GMT

    Great Sunil Gavaskar was asked a question on his 60th birthday about his all time greats, & he said Sachin, Lara, then of course Warne, Murali & Wasim. I think that comment would be enough to judge the class of the bowler. He has broken record by record & now has become the leading wicket taker in Test & ODI. One might consider all the hardships he went through his carrier, the baseless allegations & the courage he shown, and the determination to overcome obstacles, is a real example for any cricketer. With all those problems he was still with a smile & has been regarded by fellow cricketers around the world as a man with a very good heart, a perfect human being.Well done Murali ! You have made Mother SriLanka proud & made your mark in World Cricket history.

  • hamdisonMD on July 31, 2009, 3:05 GMT

    There're names come to our minds right away after mentioning a subject. Like, Batting --> Bradman Fielding --> Rhodes Bowling --> Murali

  • bigbang07 on July 31, 2009, 2:20 GMT

    At Shak01,

    1) Murali has been cleared of chucking since the 1990's and even now, or are you living in the past? 2) True, Murali does have a lot of wickets vs Zim and Bangladesh, but he has good averages against New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa (I omitted England since they are horrible at playing spinners). In fact, his test bowling average against India is great (30) when compared to Warne's average (47) since they are better players of spin bowling.

    Besides, there's no way Murali can get 1000 wickets unless he changes his mind and Sri Lanka plays more than 6-7 tests a year. 800 is a safer (yet tougher) bet.

  • ARad on July 31, 2009, 1:34 GMT

    ... Murali has been consistently at or near the top of the ICC Test ranking for bowlers which also takes into consideration the quality of the opposition. In the Warne v Murali comparisons, being head and shoulders above the rest of the bowlers in your team does not make it easier to get wickets. It means the batsmen can release the pressure against other bowlers. That said, Warney was a great player and we have been lucky to see two legends. Also, I am not sure why people are making comments about Murali's retirement as if he would be retiring early. He will be 38 next year and Test cricket is tough on the body. It will be great for him to go out on the top and I hope the rest of his career will be injury free.

  • ksekha on July 30, 2009, 22:16 GMT

    In response to the comments by shak01, I did check statsguru and found that Murali took 16 wickets at the Oval in 1998 (most by any bowler v Eng in Eng) to help Sri Lanka win. Murali also took 8-70 (11 wickets in the match) v England at Trent Bridge in 2006 to help SL level the series on traditionally seamer friendly pitches. Statsguru also showed Murali taking 26 wickets in just 3 tests on Pakistani soil in early 2000 at a time when it was extremely difficult to beat Pakistan in Pakistan. Murali also took 28 wickets in just 3 tests against the best team, i.e. Australia in 2003-04. Stats Guru also confirms that Murali has taken 5wI 66 times and 10wM 22 times, i.e. more than twice that of any other bowler. Murali has also taken 5wI against all test playing nations on numerous occassions. As for chucking, ICC cleared Murali, so he never was a chucker under cricket laws. The Bishen Bedis, Darrell Hairs and many others are jealous. Admit it or not, like it or not, Murali is the greatest.

  • Daiya on July 30, 2009, 20:00 GMT

    Shak01 you obviously did not follow your own advice about stats guru. Its Eng and RSA that murali has most wkts against. Warne has 195 wkts against Eng from 36 matches. Murali has 112 from 16 (making Eng the team that both spinners have taken the most number of wkts against). Now at this rate if Murali had played the same number of test matches against Eng that Warne has played he would have ended up with 250+ wkts. Now when you look at the next team these two greats have taken the most number of wkts against you find it is South Africa. Warne 130 from 24 matches and Murali 104 from 15. If both of them had played 24 matches murali would have had roughly 170 wkts. India is the team that plays spin the best (arguably). Murali has 88 wkts against India from 18. Warne on the other hand has 43 from 14 matches. This means that from 18 games he would have had around 55 wkts.

    So Mr.shak01, based on stats guru your claim that Murali built a career around Bangladesh and Zim has been refuted

  • Cric_Canada on July 30, 2009, 19:45 GMT

    Murali played few tests than all other great bowlers, SL plays 2-3 test against all teams, not like India Vs Pak 5 tests Eng vs. Aus 5 test even modern WI team play 4-5 tests. SL never played a 5 test series against any team, even they were top of the table few times. Warnie took more wickets by playing more test. If you think England were bottom of the Test ranking few years in a row. Don't say that Warnie's wickets against England cricketers are more valuable than other teams. Remember Aus win the series with the helmet catch of Sangakara. Ask Warnie to come back and get some wickets.

    Murali "Simply the Greatest Bowler Ever."

  • abhinav_invincible on July 30, 2009, 19:27 GMT

    murali is a great spinner!(v suppose) but not the greatest...the greatest spinner is "the spin king " shane keith warne... as he had played with the greatest team with all his fellow bowlers taking atleast 200 wickets... n not only that he played in australia where the conditions dont favor the spinners like srilanka...even a highly worn out day 5 pitch in sydney r hobart is conducive to spin compared 2 kandy or ssc,colombo..n the stats in australian wickets are that warne has a far better success rate than murali(this is definitely a fact)..warne had a clean,genuine n classic leg spinners action while murali has a very dubious action...it seems the country favours people with dubious actions ..the another being malinga, the slinger

  • kjitendra on July 30, 2009, 18:54 GMT

    With test cricket almost dying because of T20 and one-day, Murali can be sure that his highest wicket record will NEVER be touched in future. I doubt new crop of player will play test cricket for that long.

    His one-day record will be broken though.

  • Dr_Cool on July 30, 2009, 18:19 GMT

    In my opinion, he's the greatest spinner of the modern era.

  • madmax1979 on July 30, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    Yea it's time for him to go now.Also Sri Lanka gave Vaas raw deal.If they don't want Vaas in the team ..Why is Mahela Jayawardena in the team? He is just denying young cricketers.Murali is no 'Spin King' simply because the majority of his wickets have come against minnows.

  • Thomas_Ratnam on July 30, 2009, 17:34 GMT

    Murali is an alll time great. His ability to spin on any surface, variations, cricketing intelligence, tenacity and humility have been appreciated by all. Performances and records aside he also unwittingly launched a world wide debate on the legality of the degree of bowler's elbow extension. We were made aware that many bowlers' arms straighten in spite of their actions appearing legal and that the arm speed of a spinner can be as quick as that of a fast bowler. Murali has been a joy to watch as a bowler and a team player. He is no doubt one among few who played an important role in the development and success of Sri Lankan cricket. He must be happy to see where the Lankans have reached now. We will look forward to seeing Murali's last few tests with great interest. No doubt we will see him in the shorter versions of the game a little longer. And longer the better!

  • mrmonty on July 30, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    Wow!!! No disrespect; but that is a loooong looong away. Even then, it is a semi-retirement. IPL will keep the trend going for many cricketers. Case in point, Murali/Flintoff.

  • vrushi55 on July 30, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    I will miss Murali so much, since I am a huge fan of him. I hope his record stays unreached for a long long time. I hope he reaches 800 test wickets and 600-700 ODI wickets since he will play the 2011 world cup.

  • shak01 on July 30, 2009, 15:50 GMT

    must admit I'm surprised SL haven't tried to schedule more home tests against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh just to help Muralis stats (seeing as they've pretty much built his career around that). And before arguments start please check statsguru. Once a chucker, always a chucker

  • bennyhill on July 30, 2009, 15:41 GMT

    His action will always be his downfall. Warnie's the greatest in the world's greatest ever team. Murali took a lot of wickets in an average team. Warnie took a lot of wickets with great bowlers around him taking their share of wickets from him.

  • kaushik_243 on July 30, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    the caption photo on the homepage epitomises how he has played the game all these years.he is sweeping towards square leg while his eyes are looking at mid-off and as always, a smile on his face.the whole world will miss u when u go, murali thak you so much for what you have given to us i hope your magic continues in odis&t20s for a longer time

  • KarnSetya on July 30, 2009, 15:25 GMT

    i would love to see mulari get 1000 wickets but T20 cricket is going to start beoming more popiular, but it will also globalize the game

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • KarnSetya on July 30, 2009, 15:25 GMT

    i would love to see mulari get 1000 wickets but T20 cricket is going to start beoming more popiular, but it will also globalize the game

  • kaushik_243 on July 30, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    the caption photo on the homepage epitomises how he has played the game all these years.he is sweeping towards square leg while his eyes are looking at mid-off and as always, a smile on his face.the whole world will miss u when u go, murali thak you so much for what you have given to us i hope your magic continues in odis&t20s for a longer time

  • bennyhill on July 30, 2009, 15:41 GMT

    His action will always be his downfall. Warnie's the greatest in the world's greatest ever team. Murali took a lot of wickets in an average team. Warnie took a lot of wickets with great bowlers around him taking their share of wickets from him.

  • shak01 on July 30, 2009, 15:50 GMT

    must admit I'm surprised SL haven't tried to schedule more home tests against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh just to help Muralis stats (seeing as they've pretty much built his career around that). And before arguments start please check statsguru. Once a chucker, always a chucker

  • vrushi55 on July 30, 2009, 17:06 GMT

    I will miss Murali so much, since I am a huge fan of him. I hope his record stays unreached for a long long time. I hope he reaches 800 test wickets and 600-700 ODI wickets since he will play the 2011 world cup.

  • mrmonty on July 30, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    Wow!!! No disrespect; but that is a loooong looong away. Even then, it is a semi-retirement. IPL will keep the trend going for many cricketers. Case in point, Murali/Flintoff.

  • Thomas_Ratnam on July 30, 2009, 17:34 GMT

    Murali is an alll time great. His ability to spin on any surface, variations, cricketing intelligence, tenacity and humility have been appreciated by all. Performances and records aside he also unwittingly launched a world wide debate on the legality of the degree of bowler's elbow extension. We were made aware that many bowlers' arms straighten in spite of their actions appearing legal and that the arm speed of a spinner can be as quick as that of a fast bowler. Murali has been a joy to watch as a bowler and a team player. He is no doubt one among few who played an important role in the development and success of Sri Lankan cricket. He must be happy to see where the Lankans have reached now. We will look forward to seeing Murali's last few tests with great interest. No doubt we will see him in the shorter versions of the game a little longer. And longer the better!

  • madmax1979 on July 30, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    Yea it's time for him to go now.Also Sri Lanka gave Vaas raw deal.If they don't want Vaas in the team ..Why is Mahela Jayawardena in the team? He is just denying young cricketers.Murali is no 'Spin King' simply because the majority of his wickets have come against minnows.

  • Dr_Cool on July 30, 2009, 18:19 GMT

    In my opinion, he's the greatest spinner of the modern era.

  • kjitendra on July 30, 2009, 18:54 GMT

    With test cricket almost dying because of T20 and one-day, Murali can be sure that his highest wicket record will NEVER be touched in future. I doubt new crop of player will play test cricket for that long.

    His one-day record will be broken though.