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'I will continue if I could stand...'

Muralitharan says he will decide on how long he can continue playing Test cricket next season after gauging his fitness level.

cricket Updated: Dec 05, 2007 13:03 IST

The magic figure of 1000-Test wickets might be within his reach, but Muttiah Muralitharan says reaching the milestone is still a distant thought for him.

Muralitharan, who eclipsed Shane Warne's mark of 708 wickets to top the charts, says he will decide on how long he can continue playing Test cricket next season after gauging his fitness level.

"I will play next season and if could stand to the demands of Test cricket both physically and as a bowler, I will continue to play for another season," Muralitharan told reporters at the Asgiriya stadium.

35-year-old Muralitharan said he has not made any decision on his future.

"We play only 7 or 8 Test matches in a year and we must enjoy playing the game," he said.

Muralitharan said when he first started playing cricket, he thought he would end up with 50 or 100 Test wickets and never imagined of reaching so far.

Muralitharan lavished praise on former captain Arjuna Ranatunga for standing by him in times of crisis especially when his career was under threat in Australia.

"He (Ranatunga) protected me a lot", Muralitharan said.