Friday, July 23, 2010

Muralitharan finishes with just 800 wickets!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The title might seem insane for many as the Muralitharan Muttaiah the best off spinner that the game of cricket has perhaps seen will no longer be seen donning the whites for his country. Although 800 wickets is no mean achievement he could have easily gone to become the first bowler in the history of the game to grab 1000 wickets! His form and fitness seemed good enough for him to carry on for a few more years.

Murali had come to the Galle match needing 8 wickets to reach the milestone no cricketer had achieved in the 147 year old history of the Gentlemen’s Game. Most cricketers would not have the guts to announce retirement without reaching the milestone. But the magician from Sri Lanka knew he could grab 8 scalps against an Indian side who had played him relatively well and could have stopped him a single digit short of the achievement.

The first innings wicket of Sachin Tendulkar would be a moment for Murli to cherish as one of the best rivalries of the game came to an end with Murali having the last laugh. It would take decades for cricket fans to see such sights in the game again. Three Indian heads in the second innings wasn’t going to be tough for Murali but the cricket god was in no mood to deny one of his favourite sons the last laugh.

In what seemed a script straight out of a Bollywood movie, the off spin master had to wait for the last Indian wicket in the second innings to achieve this feat. When the last Indian wicket of Pragyan Ojha fell even the Indian fans seemed happy after all it was a deserved achievement for the man who had made cricket a better game facing all odds. His career could have easily ended in 1994 when Darrel Hair called him for chucking had it not been for then Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranutanga.

With Murali a era in spin bowling comes to an end with Shane Warne and Anil Kumble already hung their boots. Murali will be always remembered as a true gentleman in the game which doesn’t see too many of them anymore. He was one of the best ambassadors of the game his generation. To break his record in the future a bowler would not just need great bowling skills but a lion’s hear. Adieu Murali!


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