Last Test is just another match for Murali
Veteran Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan does not consider his swansong Test against India a "big match" and says he would not feel sad if he retires without touching the unprecedented 800-wicket mark.cricket Updated: Jul 17, 2010 19:09 IST
Veteran Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan does not consider his swansong Test against India a "big match" and says he would not feel sad if he retires without touching the unprecedented 800-wicket mark.
The off-spinner needs eight more wickets in his final Test, beginning in Galle on Sunday at Galle International stadium, to touch the 800 mark.
"I can't say it's a big match. Just another match and it is going to be the last match for me. I have been happy with the way I have played in the last 18-19 years. Hopefully, I will do well and get a good result for Sri Lanka and retire very well. That's the whole plan," Muralitharan said at the pre-match press conference.
"If I do not get a single wicket or if I get five wickets, I will (still) be very happy. I will try all my tricks in the middle for the last time. Let's see if it works or not. I am going to really enjoy the game rather than think about how many wickets I am going to need. Just enjoy the game and not put much pressure on myself," he added.
Muralitharan said looking back, he is extremely satisfied with the way his career shaped up.
"I never dreamt I would be finishing like this. I think I had a great finish because I have done very well in Test cricket. You can't get the record easily.
"Because of that, I have no regrets. I am not sad, I am very happy with what I have achieved and I am glad I am going out in a good manner because people are not asking me to go."
The spin wizard justified his decision to retire in the middle of the series, saying it was in the interest of the team and youngsters.
"I had planned to retire after the West Indies series at home because this tour was not on. India and Sri Lanka put on a tour in between. I thought this is the right time to retire because I thought one match was enough.
"There are other bowlers, who can have a go and play five more Tests at home. I thought that was in the best interests of me and the country, I thought it was the right time," he reasoned.
Muralitharan also said he had nothing more to achieve in his career and is even ready to give his place to a youngster in Sri Lanka's 2011 ODI World Cup campaign.
"If they really want me and if I fit in, I will play. Otherwise, I will be happy to give my place to a youngster because I have nothing more to achieve. I have played four World Cups and won one and runners-up once. If the youngsters are doing well, they can carry on," he said.