Melbourne: Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne showered accolades on retiring Muttiah Muralitharan, his arch rival during his playing days, by describing the Sri Lankan as one of the game’s great competitors whose world record of Test wickets will be hard to be broken.
“I don’t think it will ever be broken. Even though so much more Test cricket is played these days, I think Murali’s record will stand for a long, long time and probably forever,” Warne said.
“You just have to work it out by numbers – for that record to be broken someone has to play 140-150 Tests and take 5-6 wickets a Test. That will take some doing,” he was quoted as saying by ‘Herald Sun’.
Warne retired with 708 Test wickets and Muralitharan, with 792 scalps and one more match to go against India, has a chance to finish his Test career with 800 wickets.
Warne said that it was unfortunate Muralitharan had always been dogged by drama over his bowling action but felt the Sri Lankan was not a chucker.
“Murali’s action has been passed by scientific tests. I always thought it was probably legitimate. But because of the way he bowled, I was worried that young spinners would try to copy his action and end up bowling illegally,” said the Australian.
“Murali simply loved bowling – he loved a challenge (and) was fantastic for the game. Sometimes he would pick my brain about different things and, although we always tried to outdo each other, we always got on well,” he said.