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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 December, 2003, 09:43 GMT
Murali wants burden eased
Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan bowled 230 overs against England
Star Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has pleaded with team management to ease his workload.

Muralitharan was the Man of the Series against England with 26 wickets at an average of 12 but he bowled 230 overs.

He also had to have ice applied to his shoulder inbetween Tests, admitting after the series he would have to cut down on the amount of overs he bowled.

Muralitharan said: "During the last series against England, I played with groin and shoulder injuries."

Breaking the record is within my reach
Muttiah Muralitharan

Sri Lanka play Australia in February and March and Muralitharan warned cricket chiefs to handle him with care.

He added: "If they make me play in the provincial tournaments as well, it will be difficult for me when the Australians come."

The 31-year-old believes he can finish his international career with over 600 Test dismissals.

He now has 485 wickets, third in the overall list behind West Indies pace bowler Courtney Walsh (519) and Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne.

Muralitharan said: "Breaking the record is within my reach.

"I think there'll soon be a race between Warne and me but that's a challenge I like."

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