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Factbox - Muttiah Muralitharan profile

Factbox on Sri Lanka bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, cricket's leading international wicket-taker, who claimed his 800th victim in the first test against India today.

cricket Updated: Jul 22, 2010 14:16 IST

Factbox on Sri Lanka bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, cricket's leading international wicket-taker, who claimed his 800th victim in the first test against India on Thursday.

Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka on April 17, 1972.

Muralitharan is cricket's greatest wicket-taker in both test cricket and one-day internationals and one of the most successful bowlers in the game.

The legality of the 38-year-old off-spinner's bowling action had split opinions but was cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1996 and again in 1999.

Early years
The eldest of four sons, Muralitharan began cricket as a medium pace bowler before switching to off-spin when he was 14 years-old. He made his test debut aged 20 against Australia on Aug. 28, 1992, claiming three wickets for 141 runs.

A year later he captured his first five-wicket haul in tests against South Africa with figures of 5-104.

Against New Zealand in 1995 his 19 wickets in Sri Lanka's 2-1 series victory proved his match-winning qualities on any surface.

Career milestones
On March, 16, 1997 he became the first Sri Lankan to reach 100 test wickets. In January 1998, he took his first 10-wicket haul against Zimbabwe in the first test.

In August that year, Muralitharan produced career best figures of 16-220 in a one-off test against England.

On March. 16, 2004 he became the fastest and youngest bowler to reach 500 wickets during the second test against Australia in Kandy. Muralitharan had reached the landmark just four days after Australia's Shane Warne had done so on the fifth day of the first test.

Having tussled with Warne for the leading test-wicket taker status in the following years, Muralitharan reclaimed the record in Dec. 3, 2007 against England with his 709th wicket.

On Feb. 5, 2009 he also overtook Pakistan's Wasim Akram as the highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals -- he stands at 515.

On July 22 in his final test match he took the eight wickets needed to reach the 800 mark. Muralitharan removed India's Pragyan Ojha on the fifth afternoon with his family watching in the stands at the Galle Stadium to claim the feat.

Domestic career
Muralitharan has played for two first-class Sri Lankan sides and in English county cricket with Lancashire and Kent, taking 236 wickets in 33 matches.

In 2008, he joined Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL), finishing runners-up in its inaugural edition.