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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK
Murali dreams of World Cup glory
By Paresh Soni
BBC Sport in Barbados

Muttiah Muralitharan
Saturday's final will be Murali's 297th one-day appearance

Muttiah Muralitharan believes winning the World Cup final against Australia would surpass anything else he has achieved in the game.

The Sri Lanka spin bowler, 35, has taken more than 1,000 wickets in Tests and one-day internationals.

But he says victory on Saturday would mean a lot more - and be even better than their 1996 World Cup success.

"This could be the biggest moment in my life. In 1996 I was very young and didn't know much," he said.


"Now I know about what it takes to win a World Cup. This must be my last World Cup and if we can win it will be the greatest moment in my life - more than my individual records."

Muralitharan says he and his team-mates can create a legacy to inspire future Sri Lankan cricketers, as was the case 11 years ago.

"Team success is the most important thing and it's good for youngsters who follow cricket in Sri Lanka," he explained.

"We will have great players in the future because watching us and doing same thing we do helps all the country."

If our batsmen get set we will be a more dangerous team than any in the world

Muttiah Muralitharan

Australia cruised to a seven-wicket win over the Sri Lankans in their Super 8s game in Grenada but Muralitharan is confident they can turn the tables.

"We have to play our natural game and if our batsmen get set we will be a more dangerous team than any in the world because we can play more shots than any other players," he commented.

The pitch at the Kensington Oval is expected to favour quick bowlers, with some observers suggesting that might pose problems for the Sri Lankans.

But opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, another survivor from the 1996 final, says they will fight fire with fire.

"We also have fast bowlers who can bowl bouncers and back of the length. We are prepared for anything and will face it," he said.

"If they bounce us they bounce us - we can handle it. It's not a big deal.

"Whatever they bowl we will have to adapt and play according to that. If they bounce us we have to pull or hook and if they bowl in the right areas we will respect that and work on it."

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