Colombo: World’s most successful bowler, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, announced that he would be retiring from Test cricket after the first Test match against India at Galle.
He had decided to retire last week after long consultations with cricket administrators, experts and friends. He has however made it clear that he would be fully available for the ODI World Cup next year. The thirty seven year old warhorse had said last week too that the grueling Test format was too tough for his body to endure anymore.
"World`s leading wicket-taker and champion spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has decided to retire from Test cricket after the first Test in Galle against India," a statement by Sri Lanka Cricket said.
"Muralitharan has had discussions with the national selectors, Sri Lankan Cricket officials and has had the blessings his excellency Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Minister of Sports C B Ratnayake," the statement added.
He has played 132 Tests and taken a staggering 792 wickets from the format, taking his international cricket tally to over a thousand wickets, the most by any cricketer in the history of the game.
‘Murali’, as he is fondly called by friends, has dominated cricket pitches the world over and spent more than a decade taking wickets of the most dominant batsmen in the world. Also called the ‘Smiling Assasin’, his absence would leave a big void in Sri Lankan team and his spot would not be aptly replaced for a long time to come.