Colombo: Exactly 11 years ago on the same day Sri Lankan legend spinner Muttiah Muralitharan set a world record. He became the first cricketer to take 800 wickets in Test cricket. Despite breaking a daily record in cricket, the record set by Murali 11 years ago is still intact.
Muralitharan achieved this feat in the first Test against India on July 22 in Galle as part of a three-match Test series. Murali, who took seven wickets in the match, needed another wicket to reach this milestone. However, the Indian team had already lost 9 wickets in the second innings. With this, will Murali reach the milestone of 800 wickets? Or not? The suspense continued.
Because before the start of this test, Murali announced his retirement. Will he take 800 wickets after announcing his retirement after the first Test? Or not? That tension started among sports fans.
Eventually, however, that time came. The stadium was engulfed when Mahela Jayawardene hit the ball to the edge of the bat just outside the off stump of Pragyan Ojha. Fireworks erupted. A rare record came and went in Murali’s account. Unable to contain his joy, Muralitharan jumped on the field. Colleagues also celebrated the occasion.
Muralitharan played a total of 113 matches in his Test career. Muralitharan says goodbye to ODIs after the 2011 World Cup final against India at Wankhede Stadium. He took 534 wickets in ODIs. This is the highest in ODI history.
Muralitharan’s last Test match was the Galle Test in which Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets. After the match, the then captain Kumara Sangakkara said that another Murali in cricket could not be seen looking through a magnifying glass. Muralitharan was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2017.