Skip to main content

Muralitharan brings forward his retirement from Test cricket

Sri Lanka's record-breaking bowler Muttiah Muralitharan will retire from Test cricket later this month.
Sri Lanka's record-breaking bowler Muttiah Muralitharan will retire from Test cricket later this month.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan has confirmed that he will retire from Test cricket
  • Sri Lanka Cricket released a statement about the 38-year-old record-holder on Tuesday
  • Muralitharan has taken 792 wickets in 132 Tests and 515 wickets in 337 one-day internationals
  • He will still be available for selection for the 2011 World Cup co-hosted by Sri Lanka
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- Cricket's leading wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan has confirmed that he will retire from Tests later this month.

The 38-year-old Sri Lanka spin bowler will bow out of the five-day game on home soil against the world's top-ranked team India in Galle from 18-22 July.

He had been expected to quit during November's series against the West Indies, but has brought forward his retirement.

Muralitharan, who has taken 792 wickets in 132 Test matches, will still be available for limited-overs internationals and may yet play at the 2011 World Cup which Sri Lanka will co-host along with India and Bangladesh.

He has taken 84 more wickets in Tests than his closest rival Shane Warne, who retired in 2007, and 437 more than the highest-ranked player to have played a Test this year -- India's Harbhajan Singh.

"Champion spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has decided to retire from Test cricket," said a statement on Sri Lanka Cricket's official website on Tuesday.

"Mr Muralitharan has had discussions with the national selectors, SLC officials and has had the blessings of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Minister of Sports, Hon. C.B. Ratnayake."

The SLC said it would hold a press conference in "due course" to announce further details of the cricketer's retirement.

Muralitharan is widely considered to be the greatest bowler his country has ever produced. In addition to his Test feats, he has also taken a record-breaking 515 wickets in 337 one-day internationals.

However, over the course of his 19-year career the Sri-Lankan's unusual bent-arm bowling action has come under scrutiny from umpires and players, who have questioned its legality.

But despite several investigations, the International Cricket Council failed to find the bowler guilty of any wrongdoing.

Muralitharan's manager said the player had changed his mind about retiring in November when the three-match India series -- which begins in Galle and finishes in Colombo next month -- was added to the Test calendar.

"Murali took a decision to retire from Test cricket during the West Indies series in November, but with an unscheduled Indian series coming up he has fast-tracked his retirement from Test cricket," Kushil Gunasekara told the Cricinfo website.

"The selectors want Murali to be around just in case they don't find a suitable replacement for him for the 2011 World Cup. They probably want the spinners to work around Murali."

Cricinfo reported that Muralitharan would not be available for the one-day tri-series after the India matches, which also involves New Zealand.