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Murali- Observer Schoolboy Cricketer 1991 became the greatest bowler in Test cricket

Muttiah Muralitharan born 17 April, 1972, is a Sri Lankan cricketer who was rated the greatest Test match bowler ever by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2002.He retired from Test cricket in 2010, registering his 800th and final wicket on 22 July, 2010 from his final ball in his last Test match.

Muralitharan took the wicket of Gautam Gambhir on February 5, 2009 in Colombo to surpass Wasim Akram's ODI record of 501 wickets.

He became the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when he overtook the previous record-holder Shane Warne on 3 December, 2007.

Muralitharan had previously held the record when he surpassed Courtney Walsh's 519 wickets in 2004, but he suffered a shoulder injury later that year and was then overtaken by Warne.

Averaging over six wickets per Test, Muralitharan is one of the most successful bowlers in the game. Muralitharan held the number one spot in the International Cricket Council's player rankings for Test bowlers for a record period of 1,711 days spanning 214 matches.

After electromechanical analysis under simulated playing conditions, Muralitharan'a action was cleared by the International Cricket Council, first in 1996 and again in 1999.

Former Australian Test player, Bruce Yardley, who himself was an off spinner in his day, was assigned with the task of ensuring Muralitharan bowled all his deliveries with the same vigour as he would do so in match conditions when tested in 2004.

In February 2009, after becoming cricket's highest wicket-taker in both forms of the game Muttiah Muralitharan hinted that he might retire at the conclusion of the 2011 World Cup,.He stated, "I think I am fit in my body and mind, I am enjoying my cricket and want to play more. But after the next World Cup, I will have nothing left to achieve in the game. The World Cup should mark the end of my career."

Muralitharan retires

Muralitharan announced his retirement from Test cricket after the first Test against India at Galle which commenced on July 18, 2010.During that match he captured 8 wickets and became he first to reach the milestone of taking 800 Test wickets by dismissing Pragyan Ojha.

He was the sixth international franchise player signed to the Caribbean Premier League and he first Sri Lankan player to be named to the new Twenty20.

When he was nine-year-old, Muralitharan was sent to St. Anthony's College, Kandy, a private school run by Benedictine monks. He began his cricketing career as a medium pace bowler, but on the advice of his school coach, Sunil Fernando, he took up off-spin when he was fourteen-years-old. He soon impressed and went on to play for four years in the school First XI. In those days he played as an all-rounder and batted in the middle order. In his final two seasons at St. Anthony's College he took over one hundred wickets and in 1990/1 was named as 'The Observer/Bata Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year'.After leaving school he joined Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club and was selected for the Sri Lanka 'A' tour of England in 1991. He played in five games, but failed to capture a single wicket. On his return to Sri Lanka he impressed against Allan Border's Australian team in practice game and then want to make his Test debut at R. Premadasa Stadium in the second Test match of the series.

Lankan bowler recognised

In 2002, Wisden carried out a statistical analysis of all Test matches in an effort to rate the greatest cricketers in history, and Muralitharan was ranked as the best Test bowler of all time.

However, two years earlier, Muralitharan was not named as one of the five Wisden crickets of the Century. Former Australian captain Steve Waugh called him "the Don Bradman of bowling".

Muralitharan was selected as the |Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 2000 and in 2006.

On15 November, 2007, the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy was unveiled named after the two leading wicket-takers in Test cricket, Shane Warne and Muralitharan. The trophy is plays images of the two spin bowlers' hands each holding a cricket ball. This trophy will be contested between Australia and Sri Lanka in a ll future Test series.On December 3, 2007, just hours after Muttiah Muralitharan became Test cricket's leading Test wicket-taker, Mary Lebone Cricket Club (MCC) announced it had unveiled a portrait of the Sri Lanka off-spinner at Lord's. On the same day, the Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts in Sri Lanka issued a circular stamp with a denomination of Rs. 5 to mark the world record set by Muttiah Muralitharan. The circular design was meant to denote the cricket ball.Australian-Sri Lankan musician Alston Koch provoked worldwide interest when he recorded the only official tribute song to Muralithran, the son was even mentioned on BBC's Test Match Special.The Muralitharan Song video was also released after he broke the world record.

Parliament felicitates 'Murali'

On January 10, 2008, the Parliament of Sri Lanka felicitated Muttiah Muraltharan for his world record breaking feat of being the highest wicket taker in Test cricket.

This is the fist time that a sportsman has been honoured in the country's Supreme Legislature.

World records and achievements

Muttiah Muralitharan holds a number of world records, and several firsts:

* The most Test wickets (800 wickets as of 22 July, 2010).

* The most One-Day International wickets (534 wickets as of 2 April, 2011).

* The most 5-wicket hauls in an innings at Test level (67).

* The most 10-wicket hauls in a match at Test level (22). He is the only player to take 10 wickets/match against every Test playing nation.

* Fastest to 350, 400, 450, 500, 550, 650, 700, 750 and 800 Test wickets, in terms of matches played (indeed the only bowler to exceed 708 wickets).

* Only player to take 10 wickets in a Test in four consecutive matches. He has achieved this feat twice.

Only player to take 50 or more wickets against every Test playing nation.

Murali and Jin Laker on par

Muralitharan and Jim Laker (England), are the only bowlers to have taken 9 wickets in a Test innings twice.

7 wickets in an innings against the most countries (5).

Most Test wickets taken bowled (157), stumped (41) and caught and bowled (321). Bowled by Muralitharan (b Muralitharan) is the most common dismissal in Test cricket (excluding run out).

Most successful bowler/fielder (non-wicket keeper) combination - c. Mahela Jayawardene b. Muttiah Murlaitharan (77).

Most Man of the Series awards in Test cricket (11).

One of only six bowlers who have dismissed all the eleven batsmen in a Test match. Jim Laker, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, Geoff Dymock, Abdul Qadir and Waqar Younis are the others.

Most Test wickets on a single ground. Muralitharan is the onjy bowler to capture 100-plus Test wickets at three venues, the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo, the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy and the Galle International Stadium in Galle.

The only bowler to take 75 or more wickets in a calendar year on here ocasions, achieving it in 200, 2001 and 2006. Most ducks (dismissals for zero) ever in international cricket (across Tests, ODIs, and T20Is): 59 ducks total.

National records

He is the only Sri Lankan Test bowler to take ten or more wickets twice in a Test match and still end up on the losing side.

 

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