Muttiah Muralitharan factfile

Updated: Jul 23, 2010, 18:48 PM IST

Factbox on Sri Lanka bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, cricket`s leading international wicket taker, who will retire from Test cricket after this month`s first Test against India.

Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka on April 17, 1972, Muralitharan is cricket`s greatest wicket-taker in both Test cricket and one-day internationals and one of the most successful bowlers in the game.

The legality of the 38-year-old off-spinner`s bowling action had split opinions but was cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1996 and again in 1999.


The eldest of four sons, Muralitharan began cricket as a medium pace bowler before switching to off-spin when he was 14 years-old. He made his Test debut aged 20 against Australia on August 28, 1992, claiming three wickets for 141 runs.

A year later he captured his first five-wicket haul in Tests against South Africa with figures of 5-104.

Against New Zealand in 1995 his 19 wickets in Sri Lanka`s 2-1 series victory proved his match-winning qualities on any surface.


On March, 16, 1997 he became the first Sri Lankan to reach 100 Test wickets. In January 1998, he took his first 10-wicket haul against Zimbabwe in the first Test.

In August that year, Muralitharan produced career best figures of 16-220 in a one-off Test against England.

On March 16, 2004 he became the fastest and youngest bowler to reach 500 wickets during the second Test against Australia in Kandy. Muralitharan had reached the landmark just four days after Australia`s Shane Warne had done so on the fifth day of the first Test.

Having tussled with Warne for the leading Test-wicket taker status in the following years, Muralitharan reclaimed the record in December 3, 2007 against England with his 709th wicket.

He retired from Test cricket at Galle on July 22 after completing the landmark of claiming 800 Test wickets. On Feb. 5, 2009 he also overtook Pakistan`s Wasim Akram as the highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals -- he stands at 515.