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Reaction to Muttiah Muralitharan's 800 Test wickets

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Muralitharan takes 800th Test wicket

Muttiah Muralitharan created cricket history on Thursday when he became the first bowler to take 800 Test wickets.

His achievements are remarkable - he has taken 10 wickets in a Test match on 22 occasions, 12 times more than Shane Warne, who sits in second in the all-time wicket-takers' list.

Although his career has been plagued by controversy because of his unorthodox bowling action, Muralitharan remains one of the greatest players the game has seen - not to mention one of the most popular.

Cricketers past and present offer their views on the 38-year-old's remarkable achievement.

AUSSIE CRICKET LEGEND SHANE WARNE

"I don't think anyone will get there, so well done to Murali for getting his 800," Warne told Sky Sports.

"The way he's gone about it has been amazing. There's been a lot of controversy about his action but at the end of the day the ICC (International Cricket Council) cleared him, he's allowed to play, and what he did with the ball was amazing.

"To face it was quite difficult, especially in those spinning conditions in Sri Lanka."

BBC CRICKET CORRESPONDENT JONATHAN AGNEW

"Unfortunately there will always be the question of his bowling action. There will be some people who are determined that he has thrown the ball and attained more spin this way.

"The fact is he has a extraordinarily loose shoulder and an elbow that cannot straighten. Those people who support him say what you are seeing is an optical illusion.

"But I suspect that for a very, very, very long time, his record of 800 wickets will stand."

ENGLAND SPINNER GRAEME SWANN

"I think it will be beaten at some stage. A lot of people are a long way off that.

606: THE MURALITHARAN DEBATE
BBC Sport's Pranav Soneji

"There'll be some freak of nature who comes along in 20 years and will probably beat it but it's going to be a record that stands for a while.

"There's always going to be detractors to anybody. The best thing is he rose above it and just carried on doing what he does and his record now speaks for itself.

"He changed the shape of spin bowling. He is unique in what he's done."

FORMER ENGLAND SEAM BOWLER ANGUS FRASER

"Having played against him and watched him on a number of occasions over the past three decades, he's just a joy to watch playing cricket," Fraser told BBC Sport.

"The smile he has on his face, the energy he has for the sport and the excitement he got no matter how many wickets he had taken.

"Bowling another brilliant ball and taking a wicket was something that really did add to the game.

"There will be people critical of him - but I'm not one of those. He has given a huge amount to the game and deserves all the accolades that come his way."

FORMER SRI LANKA SEAM BOWLER CHAMINDA VAAS

"He has been playing for 17 years doing his magical spinning and playing brilliant cricket," Vaas told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It was easy for me to bowl from the other end because he was so tight, I have taken so many wickets thanks to Muralitharan.

"He's a very charming man, helping youngsters and always doing things in the dressing room to support the team.

"He always want to win. He's a tough character, doing his job and trying to motivate himself."

He will be rememebred as one of the finest spin bowlers the game has ever seen.

The amount he spins the ball, that's the biggest problem. Murali sits in that very great character.

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN ALEC STEWART

"Murali has a unique action - when you see what he can do wrist and shoulder, along with his long fingers and supple wrists, that will answer any doubts.

"I have always believed Shane Warne was better spinner because leg-spin is the hardest art in the game to master.

"But you can't take away what Murali has achieved. To take 800 wickets, I'm sorry but that's quite outstanding.

People say he took 176 wickets against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, but you can only take wickets against the opposition put in front of you.

"He's a one-off - I'd be surprised if we see anything like him again."

FORMER INDIA SPINNER ANIL KUMBLE

"It is really amazing that someone like Murali has been able to achieve that. I think it will remain unparalleled.

"I am not sure if anyone will be able to achieve 800 Test wickets in as many Test matches that I have played. He took 200 more wickets than what I ended up with.

"It is a great achievement, and I have sent my congratulatory messages to Murali for the same."

FORMER SRI LANKA CAPTAIN ARJUNA RANATUNGA

"As far as was concerned, he should have continued playing Test cricket and cut down on one-day and Twenty20 cricket, play for two or three years more and get 1000 wickets.

"I thought that was the plan, but suddenly he started getting injuries. He took the right decision to quit when he is on top.

"I think he is the best bowler to have played the game in my era - and perhaps the best to have played the game."

MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA, PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA

"Sri Lanka is proud of this son of our soil, who has reached the greatest height as a bowler with his new record, winning the highest respect of his contemporaries in the game the world over."



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see also
Muralitharan reaches 800 landmark
22 Jul 10 |  Sri Lanka
Murali seals feat in easy victory
22 Jul 10 |  Cricket
The man who reinvented spin bowling
22 Jul 10 |  South Asia
Cricket legend Murali on retiring
22 Jul 10 |  South Asia
Muralitharan to retire from Tests
06 Jul 10 |  Sri Lanka
Muralitharan breaks Test record
03 Dec 07 |  Sri Lanka
Muralitharan - the record-breaker
03 Dec 07 |  Sri Lanka
Murali cleared by yet more tests
04 Feb 06 |  Cricket


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