Muttiah Muralitharan plans to retire after World Cup
Archive: Muralitharan takes 800th Test wicket
Legendary Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has confirmed that he will retire from international cricket after the forthcoming World Cup in Asia.
The 38-year-old quit Test cricket last July after taking a record 800 wickets.
But he has remained in his country's limited-overs side and will bow out after the World Cup, co-hosted by Sri Lanka, which begins on 19 February.
However, he will continue to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League after signing for new franchise Kochi.
Muralitharan, who helped Sri Lanka win the 1996 World Cup and was a losing finalist in 2007, has taken 517 wickets in 339 one-day internationals in a career which has spanned nearly two decades at the top level and left him as the world's leading wicket-taker in both the major formats of the game.
MURALI'S INTERNATIONAL RECORD
Tests: 133 matches, 800 wickets, average 22.72
One-day internationals: 339 matches, 517 wickets, average 23.11
Twenty20 internationals: 12 matches, 13 wickets, average 22.84
"I'm going to retire from international cricket, totally, after this World Cup," he told BBC Radio 5 live.
Sri Lanka host West Indies in three one-day internationals before the World Cup, when they will face Canada, Pakistan, Kenya, Australia, Zimbabwe and New Zealand in Group A.
Crucially for Sri Lanka, the first five of those games will be played on home soil, before they face the Kiwis in Mumbai.
"Our preparation has been good, but I think we have a good chance because we're playing in Sri Lanka," said Muralitharan.
"There won't be a huge [home] advantage, but it will have a little bit of impact.
"It's very difficult to compare the 1996 team to this team, as it's two different generations.
"We have experienced players and young players, and our side has done very well for the last two years in one-day cricket.
"England are a very good side, but it depends on how they play in sub-continent conditions, which are very different to Australia or England as it favours spin bowling.
"Graeme Swann has done really well for England, I think he's one of the best spinners in the world."
Meanwhile, he told reporters at a training session in Colombo that as well as signing to play in the IPL for the next two years, he was "also looking at similar work in New Zealand and perhaps England."
But he ruled out an immediate move into coaching, adding: "There are plenty of coaches and lots of talented people out there.
"I will take things as they come. For the moment, no coaching stints."
MURALI'S 517 ODI WICKETS
95 v Pakistan (in 64 ODIs)
74 v India (in 62)
68 v New Zealand (in 39)
56 v Zimbabwe (in 30)
53 v Australia (in 39)
49 v South Africa (in 32)
32 v West Indies (in 25)
31 v Bangladesh (in 31)
26 v England (in 17)
33 v others (13 v Kenya, 4 v Ireland, 4 v Netherlands, 3 v Africa XI, 3 v ICC World XI, 3 v UAE, 2 v Bermuda, 1 v Canada
Born in Kandy, Muralitharan's unique bent-arm bowling action, caused by a deformity from birth, has meant that he has courted controversy at times during his career.
Some umpires and former players have questioned his action's legality - notably in Australia, where umpires Darrell Hair and Ross Emerson no-balled him for throwing.
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