Spinning his way to success


August 28 - September 2, Colombo

Muttiah Muralitharan, aged 20, makes his debut against Australia at the Khettarama Stadium and takes 3 for 141. Craig McDermott is his first Test wicket.


August 12, Colombo
Murali makes his one-day debut against India at the Khettarama Stadium and takes 1 for 38 off ten overs. Praveen Amre is his first ODI wicket.
August 25-30, Moratuwa
Murali takes 5 for 104 in South Africa's first innings, his first five-wicket haul in Tests. His wickets include Kepler Wessels, Hansie Cronje and Jonty Rhodes.


March 11-15, Napier
Murali takes 5 for 64 in the second innings against New Zealand and spins Sri Lanka to a 241-run win in the first Test at Napier. It is their first overseas victory and Sri Lanka eventually win the two-Test series 1-0.
December 27, Melbourne
Darrell Hair no-balls Murali, playing his 22nd Test, seven times for a suspect action on the second day of the Boxing Day Test against Australia..


January 5, Brisbane
Ross Emerson, umpiring his first match, no-balls Murali for a suspect action in an ODI against West Indies in Brisbane. Muralitharan resorted to legspin; he was still no-balled. The ICC investigates Murali's action and clears him.


March 14-17, Hamilton
Murali picks up his 100th Test wicket in his 27th Test when be bowls Stephen Fleming in the second innings of the second Test.


January 7-11, Kandy
Murali takes his first ten-wicket haul against Zimbabwe in the first Test at Kandy. Sri Lanka win by eight wickets and Murali's match figures of 12 for 117 are the best by a Sri Lankan bowler in Test history.
March, Sri Lanka's tour to South Africa
Murali takes 16 wickets in two Tests - in Centurion and Cape Town - but Sri Lanka still lose the series 0-2.

April 15, Benoni
Murali takes his first five-wicket haul in ODIs, taking 5 for 23 as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 115 runs.

August 7-11, The Oval
Murali 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 ten wickets, their first Test victory in England.


January 23, Adelaide
Umpire Emerson once again no-balls Murali for a suspect action during an ODI against England at Adelaide. Ranatunga summons the Sri Lankan players to leave the field. Fourteen minutes are lost before play resumes.


February-March, Pakistan
Murali takes 26 wickets at an average of 19.84 in Sri Lanka's 2-1 series win in Pakistan.
Murali takes another 26 wickets in a three-Test series at home against South Africa at 18.46 apiece.

October 27, Sharjah
Murali takes 7 for 30 - the then best ODI figures - against India.

December 26-30, Durban
Playing his 58th Test, Murali takes his 300th Test wicket when he dismissed Shaun Pollock in the first Test in Durban. Only Dennis Lilllee reached the milestone faster, in his 56th Test.


January 4, Kandy
Murali takes nine Zimbabwe wickets on the first day but misses out on the tenth when Chaminda Vaas dismisses Henry Olonga. Murali follows up his 9 for 51 in the first innings with 4 for 64 in the second, equalling Richard Hadlee's record of 10 ten-wicket match hauls, but needing 15 fewer Tests to do so.
January 15, Galle
In his 72nd Test, Murali becomes the fastest to reach the 400-wicket landmark when he bowls Henry Olonga in the third Test in Galle.

April 9, Sharjah
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 11 runs in an ODI but Murali has astonishing figures of 10-3-9-5.


March 16, Kandy

Murali bowls Michael Kasprowicz in the first Test to take his 500th Test wicket in his 87th Test.
March 28, Colombo
Murali is once again reported to the ICC by match referee Chris Broad for having a suspect action. Broad feels that the action with which Murali delivered the doosra during the Test series against Australia is not legitimate.

April 2, Perth
Murali undergoes tests on his action at the University of Western Australia in Perth.

April 21
The ICC effectively outlaws Murali's doosra, confirming that they are not about to increase the permitted five-degree tolerance level for spin bowlers to accommodate Murali. They later extended the limit to 15 degrees.

May 8, Harare
Murali goes past Courtney Walsh's record of 519 Test wickets. Zimbabwe's Mluleki Nkala becomes Murali's 520th scalp in Tests.

May 12
Sri Lanka Cricket instructs Muralitharan to stop bowling the doosra in international cricket. The ICC supports the decision.

June 4
Murali is named in the squad to tour Australia despite him saying that there was a possibility that he would opt out of the series

June 15
Murali pulls out of Sri Lanka's two-Test tour of Australia citing "personal reasons".

August - October
Murali grabbed the record for most Test wickets after both, Warne and he, were on 527 wickets each. Martin van Jaarsveld was Murali's 528th wicket in Galle. Warne later took the record back against India in Chennai in October.


January 24, Adelaide
Murali takes his 400th wicket in ODIs when he dismisses Johan van der Wath during the VB series.
February 4, Perth
Murali undergoes another round of Tests at the University of Western Australia to prove to the Australian crowds that his action is legitimate.

March 10, Bogra
Murali takes his 600th Test wicket in his 101st Test, dismissing Khaled Mashud in the second innings of the second Test in Bogra.


July 14, Kandy
Murali takes the last wicket of the third Test against Bangladesh to reach the 700-wicket milestone in his 113th Test.
August 31
An elbow injury while playing for Lancashire rules Murali out of the ICC World Twenty20.

December 3
Murali breaks Shane Warne's record of 708 wickets and becomes Test cricket's leading wicket-taker. He bowled England's Paul Collingwood in the first innings in Kandy to claim the record.