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Last Updated: Monday, 3 December 2007, 13:04 GMT
Warne hails record-breaker Murali
Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan's next target is 1,000 Test wickets
Shane Warne has congratulated Muttiah Muralitharan on becoming the leading wicket-taker in Test match history.

The Sri Lanka spinner surpassed Warne's record by claiming his 709th Test victim when he bowled England's Paul Collingwood in Kandy.

Warne said: "Congratulations to Murali - he's been a wonderful player for a long period of time.

"He's an excellent competitor and has been great for Sri Lankan cricket. He'll probably go and get 1,000 now."

Warne said he knew his record would not stand for long.

"It was nice to have the record for a short while but I knew I would only have it for a short time," he added.

And Warne predicted no-one would overtake Muralitharan if he manages to claim 1,000 Test wickets.

"He has every chance of getting there. If he does I don't think anyone else will catch him."

He is so difficult to face it is untrue

Nasser Hussain

Paul Collingwood was the player who will go down in history as Muralitharan's 709th victim.

He said: "He's going to be a legend. He is already and he's very hard to play against.

"The ball was exactly the same as the one before. It was an off-spinner but it just skidded on and it beat me and hit the stumps. I'm not proud of going down as the 709th but I can pay full credit to Murali.

"Maybe I'll look back on my career and probably say that I may have been glad to get out to his record ball!"

England captain Michael Vaughan said: "He's been a tremendous performer and always a huge threat when we play against Sri Lanka.

"It's a tough task scoring runs against him. The more you play him the easier it should be to play him, but he's got so much variation."

I'm sure Wisden won't put an asterix on his record anymore than they'll suggest that he got 160-odd wickets against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe compared to Warne's 17

Warne's mentor Terry Jenner

Former England captain Nasser Hussain said: "To take 710 wickets is beyond belief.

"I first came across him on an under-19 tour about 20 years ago.

"He is so difficult to face it is untrue, and to [get the record] in his home town, and the irony... he thought the ball [that bowled Paul Collingwood for the record] was going to go one way and it went the other.

"It's a great achievement and the one thing that comes across with Murali is that he absolutely loves the game."

However, former Australia leg-spinner Terry Jenner, who was Warne's mentor, sounded a note of caution over Muralitharan's achievement.

The Sri Lanka spinner has been dogged by questions about his action throughout his career, despite being cleared by the International Cricket Council.

"I'm sure Wisden won't put an asterisk on his record anymore than they'll suggest that he got 160-odd wickets against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe compared to Warne's 17," Jenner told BBC Radio Five Live.

"The fact that Murali has been on report several times will also pass. It's a sad thing. That is why I would love it to be that they could officially test Murali or anybody else in match conditions.

"The only problem with lab tests is that they can be staged. It doesn't have to be the actual action that you would use in a match.

"For Murali's sake if they do it and it comes back and it says that 'this is the flex he has in match conditions' then for once and for all it would be laid to rest.

"Everytime they get reported, they get tested in false conditions and they pass. What are we led to believe? That it is the be all and end all?"

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