Muttiah Muralitharan is a former international Sri Lankan cricketer who plays for the Sri Lankan national team. He has been named as the greatest Test-match Bowler ever to exist. Murali, as he is fondly known worldwide, is a right-arm off spin bowler and usually bats at the number ten or eleven position.
Muralitharan has played in the Provincial Championship for the Central Province and in the Premier Trophy for Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club. He has played in 46 matches and has taken 234 wickets at an average of 14.51 runs.
From 1999 to 2007 Muralitharan played in 28 first class games for Lancashire county. In the 2003 season he took part in five first class games for Kent. In English domestic cricket in the 33 matches he has played, he has taken 236 wickets at 15.62 runs.
In the history of cricket Muralitharan is the first wrist-spinning offspinner. His major deliveries are the off break, a fast topspinner that moves straight on and the doosra which is a surprising delivery that turns from leg to off while there is no recognizable alteration of action.
In 1995 during the second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Darrell Hair the Australian umpire called Muralitharan for throwing in the presence of 55,239 people. In three overs Murali was no-balled seven times as Hair believed that Murali was bending and straightening the arm in the delivery process. But the comments were soon neglected by the International Board of cricket after a brief verification on Murali’s bowling action.
Courtney Walsh’s record of 519 Test wickets was overtaken by Muralitharan in May 2004 when he became the highest wicket taker. After Shane Warne of Australia, Muralitharan became the second bowler in Tests to capture 709 wickets. Warne is of the opinion that Muralitharan might take 1000 Test wickets prior to retirement and Muralitharan himself believes that he might be capable to do so.
In Tests and One dayers combined (483 matches) he has taken 1334 wickets which is the highest number of International wickets. He has taken 75 or more wickets in a calendar year in 2000, 2001 and 2006 and is the singular bowler to achieve this feat three times.