Legendary Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan on Friday confirmed that he would retire from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup beginning Feb 19 in the sub-continent.
The 38-year-old retired from Test cricket in July last year after taking a record 800 wickets. He, however, will continue to play in Indian Premier League where he has signed a two-year contract with Team Kochi and is looking for similiar options at domestic clubs in New Zealand and England.
"This World Cup will be my last outing," Muralitharan said. "I am retiring totally from international cricket thereafter."
"My time is up. I have signed up to play for two years in the IPL. I am also looking at similar work in New Zealand and perhaps England," the off-spinner said.
Muralitharan, the leading wicket-taker in both Tests (800) and one-dayers (517), at the moment is focusing on the World Cup, which will be his fourth. The World Cup will be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka will host 12 World Cup matches.
"We won in 1996 and came close in 2007 by reaching the final. This would be a memorable one for me and for Sri Lankan fans," he said.
"Our preparation has been good, but I think we have a good chance because we're playing in Sri Lanka. There won't be a huge (home) advantage, but it will have a little bit of impact."
Muralitharan, however, ruled out any plans of getting into coaching. "There are plenty of coaches and lots of talented people out there. I will take things as they come. For the moment, no coaching stints."