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Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Thursday, 22 July 2010 16:04 UK

Paul Farbrace salutes Muttiah Muralitharan's milestone

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan is a superstar in his home country of Sri Lanka

Former Sri Lanka assistant coach Paul Farbrace has paid tribute to Muttiah Muralitharan's "magnificent" milestone of 800 Test wickets.

The current Kent coach worked with Muralitharan between 2007-09.

"It's magnificent and I think it's caught the attention of everybody," he told BBC Radio Kent.

"What a fitting way to go out - beat India in a home test match, get eight wickets in the game, and reach 800 wickets - which will never be beaten."

Farbrace added: "Our dressing room has been talking about it all morning.

He is an unbelievable character so goodness knows what he'll do in retirement

Paul Farbrace

"Obviously Murali played for Kent [in 2003] but everybody was keen to see if he could get the 800 wickets.

"It shows his mental strength and his ability.

"With respect, it's not Bangladesh or Zimbabwe - it's India. They're probably the best team in the world at the moment in Test cricket with a fantastic batting line-up and he's got eight wickets in the game.

"He's got five in the first innings when real pressure would be on and then obviously he's picked up his three in the second innings which he needed.

"I don't think there will be too many people in world cricket who won't be saying fantastic, well done."


Farbrace added: "Maybe a blond haired guy from Melbourne won't be overly happy with it - he's obviously shown his thoughts over the years - but I think the majority of people will be delighted because he's such an infectious character."

Asked what he thinks Muralitharan will do now that he has retired from the Test arena, Farbrace said: "He won't rest.

"He'll drive his wife mad," Farbrace joked. "He's got a little boy who's about four-and-a-half now and he is identical to Murali.

"He is an unbelievable character so goodness knows what he'll do in retirement.

"I've seen him talk to people he's never met before in airports and in hotels for half an hour. He'll join peoples' conversations because he'll think he's got something to add.

"But on the other side what people don't see is that he spends a lot of time at orphanages in Columbo," Farbrace added. "He gives an awful lot of money and time to these places.

"On a young lad's second birthday, instead of buying him lots of presents, he took all 100 kids from the orphanage to a water park because he thought that was the best way of spending his money.

"He is a really kind hearted person and I think many people are genuinely delighted that he's done so well."

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see also
Muralitharan reaches 800 landmark
22 Jul 10 |  Sri Lanka
No-one will top Murali - Farbrace
07 Jul 10 |  Sri Lanka
Muralitharan to retire from Tests
06 Jul 10 |  Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka upbeat on Murali injury
06 May 10 |  Sri Lanka
Muralitharan's career in photos
03 Dec 07 |  Cricket
Muralitharan breaks Test record
03 Dec 07 |  Sri Lanka
Muralitharan - the record-breaker
03 Dec 07 |  Sri Lanka

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