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Last Updated:  Friday, 27 December, 2002, 15:00 GMT

Muttiah Muralitharan
Born: 17/04/72
Team: Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club
ODI debut: 12/08/93
Past World Cups: 1996, 1999

Right-arm off-break bowler
Right-handed batsman

Muralitharan is a unique bowling talent.

His ability to twist the joints in his arm and wrist upon delivery is an amazing sight and a very effective tool, as the statistics prove.

Muralitharan holds the record of reaching 400 Test wickets in the quickest time and also currently lies fifth in the all-time list of wicket takers.

His nine for 65 in an innings against England at the Oval in 1998 still ranks among one of the best performances in Test cricket.

The Tamil player recently became only the fourth bowler in history to claim 300 wickets in both Tests and one-day internationals when he bowled England's Jimmy Anderson in January.

He is integral to Sri Lanka's hopes as the stats prove. With him playing the side win 60% of their matches, a figure that drops to below 30% without him.

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