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Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 15:13 UK

Muttiah Muralitharan targets record 800-wicket haul

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan is hoping for eight or more wickets in his last Test

Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muraliatharan wants to take his world record haul of wickets to 800 before he retires from international Test cricket.

As revealed by the BBC Sinhala Service last week, Muraliatharan will quit Test cricket after the first Test of the home series against India this month.

And the 38-year-old, currently on 792 wickets, told BBC Sport: "I always thought I'd reach the 800 mark.

"I can still reach it as I have one last Test. It would be magical ending."

Muralitharan, regarded as the greatest bowler Sri Lanka has ever produced and one of the finest players to grace the game, would need eight wickets in Galle to reach 800.

His Test-wicket haul has come from 132 Test appearances, while he has also played 337 one-day internationals, taking 515 wickets.


However, he has decided to focus on playing one-day cricket until the 2011 World Cup and, thereafter, exclusively on Twenty20 cricket, explaining: "I have achieved most of the things I wanted to in cricket.

"There is nothing left to achieve so I can't be selfish and play on."

Still, the off-spinner admits he hopes his sensational Test-wicket haul is never surpassed.

"I think records are meant to be broken," he said. "Someone will come and break it one day.

"But I don't have to lie. Every person that achieves something special doesn't want that achievement to be broken. I am no different. That is the way it should be. I want it to always be there but I think it will be broken. That's the way records work.

"It will happen but I'm selfish and I want it to be my record forever."

For the full interview with Muttiah Muralitharan, listen to Sport on Five on BBC Five Live from 2100 BST.

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see also
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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CricInfo We should not get carried away by Murali's farewell - Sangakkara - 1 hr ago
The News International India vow to spoil Muralitharans finale at Galle - 2 hrs ago
The Hindu Only Harbhajan can match my Test record: Muralitharan - 2 hrs ago Murali's turn to make history again by reaching 800 Test wickets - 6 hrs ago
The Statesman India will be party-poopers - 12 hrs ago


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