Muralitharan was hoisted aloft by his teammates at Galle stadium after Indian batsman Pragyan Ojha was caught from Muralitharan’s final ball of his 18-year Test career. Sri Lanka went on to win by 10 wickets.
The 38-year-old has taken the 800 wickets in 133 Test matches and 515 wickets in 337 one-day internationals, also the highest tally. He broke the record of 502 one-day wickets held by Wasim Akram last year and eclipsed Shane Warne’s mark of 708 Test wickets in 2007.
Sri Lanka’s most successful sportsman helped the island nation win the cricket World Cup in 1996 and used his celebrity status to galvanize reconstruction efforts following the devastating tsunami that killed 30,000 people in 2004.
“It was a proud day for every Sri Lankan — his contribution has not just been numbers, he has built a profile for the country and put Sri Lanka on the map.”
Muralitharan, who varies conventional off-spin with balls that slide straight on and so-called doosras which turn the other way, has averaged six wickets per Test. A native of the hill station town of Kandy, his 67 five-wicket hauls in an innings are a record, as is his tally of taking 10 wickets in a match on 22 occasions.
Since making his Test debut in 1992, his action has prompted accusations of throwing from match officials. He’s been cited three times by umpires, only to be cleared of bowling illegally on each occasion after undergoing laboratory analysis.
Another incident in March 2004 forced cricket lawmakers to review their approach to throwing in international matches, culminating in a relaxation of the rules to allow all bowlers a greater degree of arm straightening in their delivery.
Muralitharan got the eight wickets he needed in the match against India to reach the 800 mark. SL team totaled 520, and India replied with 276 and 338 after the follow-on was enforced. Sri lanka won the match in 10 wickets at the end.
Well done Murali… We salute you….!!!