‘There is nothing left to achieve’, admits spin king
MUTTIAH Muralitharan admits there is “nothing left to achieve” after the Sri Lanka spin maestro announced he would be calling time on his 20-year Test cricket career in just over two weeks time.
The 38-year-old, who played 132 Tests for the Lions, revealed his intention to retire from the five-day format of the game after the first of three home Test matches to be played against India, which begins on July 18.
“It was not a very difficult (decision),” he told the Mumbai-based Daily News and Analysis (DNA) newspaper. “In fact, it was easy. I am over 37 and I’m not getting any younger. You can’t play cricket for ever and ever. Anyway I have achieved what I wanted to achieve. Hence there is nothing left so far or any target to reach.”
In a career filled with moments of pure brilliance as well as controversy regarding his bowling action, the world’s leading wicket taker in both Tests and One-Day Internationals has picked up 792 wickets in the longer format so far for his country, but acknowledges that he had been mulling over his retirement for a while now.
“I was thinking about it for a long time. I wanted to retire after playing the West Indies in November. However, I didn’t want to keep so many talented youngsters waiting. I changed my decision and thought ‘why not retire against India’ as they are the No.1 Test side.”
However, Muralitharan is adamant his life on the field is far from over.
“I still have a lot of cricket left in me. I will be playing the shorter versions of the game. Then there is the Indian Premier League (IPL). I will also play county cricket in England. All this will surely keep me busy.”
The off-break specialist made his debut against Australia in 1993 at Colombo and since then has engineered many a triumph for the teams he has represented – his most recent one coming in the third edition of the IPL.
“I was part of the Sri Lankan team which won the World Cup in 1996. I am very much a part of IPL-winning side Chennai Super Kings. I have been part of many victories. So there is nothing left to achieve.”