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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 May, 2004, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Murali thanks his parents
Muttiah Muralitharan
His team-mates formed a guard of honour as Murali left the field
Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan paid tribute to his long-suffering parents at the end of day when he set a new Test record of 521 wickets.

He had match figures of 8-92 to help his side beat Zimbabwe in Harare, putting him two clear of previous record holder Courtney Walsh.

An emotional Murali said: "My parents have done a lot for me during the ups and downs of my career.

"From a young age they have encouraged me and helped me out financially."

He added: "The world record means a lot to me and for Sri Lanka. We are a small country unlike Australia or India and performances like this help to give the country a good image over the world.

"It will also encourage a lot of youngsters to take up the game and one day perform at this level.

He stood by me when I was in trouble with my bowling action twice, which got him into trouble
Muralitharan on former captain Arjuna Ranatunga

When Mahela Jayawardene held the catch at silly point off Mluleki Nkala to give Muralitharan the world record it brought to an end some frustration.

"I was thankful it was over," he said. "I was so anxious to get that wicket that I wasn't putting the ball in the right place.

He rated the 16-221 he took against England at the Oval in 1998 as his best performance out of the 521 wickets and said that former captain Arjuna Ranatunga was the most influential person in his career.

"Arjuna guided me throughout my career for a eight-year period till 1999," he said.

"He stood by me when I was in trouble with my bowling action twice, which got him into trouble.

"He is the most meaningful person in my career. Others have also helped me but Ranatunga deserves a special place."

Nkala is caught at silly mid-off
Historic moment: Mluleki Nkala becomes Murali's 520th Test victim

Muralitharan received a phone call from Walsh soon after the match had been concluded and there was no sign of any disappointment from the West Indian.

"He also rang me when he took my 500th wicket. Records are made to be broken. Eventually, somebody will break my record."

Australian Shane Warne is only four wickets behind Muralitharan, having pipped him to 500 in the recent series between the two sides, and he will have a chance to add to his tally against Zimbabwe, once Sri Lanka have completed their tour.

"He might get the world record, then I might get it again. Shane Warne is a great champion bowler and he would also like to be the highest wicket-taker," said Muralitharan.

He went into the Test following recent controversy over his doosra delivery - a ball which spins away from a righ-handed batsman.

Biomechanical tests were carried out in Australia which showed that his action when bowling the doosra was illegal under current rules.

Despite holding the Test record, Muralitharan said one of his major goals for the remainder of his international career lay in one-day cricket.

"I am now conscious of the 2007 World Cup and I want us to win that," he said.

Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan
"Somebody will break my record eventually"

Sri Lanka openers impress
07 May 04  |  Cricket
Murali equals record
06 May 04  |  Cricket

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