Spin king Murali hungry for success
Spin king Muttiah Muralitharan said that he was hungry for success
after a shoulder injury kept him out of international cricket for almost
The 33-year-old off-spinner returns to Test cricket when he plays in
the first Test against the West Indies starting at the SSC grounds
today. It has been a frustrating 11 months for Muralitharan who
underwent surgery in his right arm, but he is also happy in a way that
he got a break away from international cricket.
"I think the near one year break has done a lot to me because I got
fitter in other ways. I also needed a rest having played 14 years of
The rest has given me an opportunity to play cricket for some more
years," said the 33 year-old off-spinner who is chasing Australian
leg-spinner Shane Warne for the world record. In Muralitharan's absence
Warne shot ahead and has 583 Test wickets.
"The break gave me an opportunity of given thought to my family. I
got married and everything went right for me. I am very keen to get
back," he said.
Muralitharan was thankful to English county Lancashire for giving him
the opportunity to play for them while he was recovering from his
"I was able to bowl about 200-odd overs and I got 36 wickets in
championship games. It brought my confidence back. The first 2-3 matches
was a bit difficult bowling because my arm was sore. But I kept on and
got my rhythm back," said Muralitharan. "I started to enjoy myself when
the wickets started to come. I am hungry to play more cricket and want
to perform for Sri Lanka in the coming years. I am confident that I will
Muralitharan expressed disappointment that West Indies were not
playing their best side against Sri Lanka in the two Tests.
"I am disappointed in a way because I need a challenge. I enjoy
beating the best sides with the best players," said Muralitharan who is
the second highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 532 wickets.
"The unfortunate has happened and West Indies have put the best team
they could for the test. I hope I get some bowling," said Muralitharan
who is returning to international cricket after a long lay-off due to an
The last occasion West Indies toured Sri Lanka in 2001, the
cricketing world saw a fascinating dual between the best batsman in the
world Brian Lara and the best bowler Muralitharan. Lara made a mountain
of runs - 688 runs (avg. 114.66) with three hundreds and Muralitharan
captured 24 wickets at 22.33.
Muralitharan said that he was happy to see his team perform well in
his absence by winning a series against South Africa and drawing a
series in Pakistan. He said that he was 90 percent fit and that his arm
will have to be treated for the next six months. - [S.T.]