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Muttiah Muralitharan: The Spin Wizard’s Record-Breaking Career

by Ah Limon
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Muttiah Muralitharan: The Spin Wizard’s Record-Breaking Career

‍In the world of cricket, few names evoke as much respect and awe as Muttiah Muralitharan. With his unique bowling action and unparalleled spin skills, Muralitharan has etched his name in the annals of cricket history. From the moment he burst onto the scene in the early 1990s, it was clear that this Sri Lankan player was something special.

Early life and cricket career

Muttiah Muralitharan was born on April 17, 1972, in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Growing up in a modest family, Muralitharan developed a passion for cricket at a young age. He started playing competitive cricket in school and quickly caught the attention of local coaches with his exceptional talent.

At the age of 18, Muralitharan made his debut for the Sri Lankan national team in a Test match against Australia. Although he didn’t have an impressive start, it was clear that he possessed something extraordinary. His unorthodox bowling action, characterized by a distinctive wrist flick, was the talk of the cricketing world.

Muralitharan’s unique bowling style

Muralitharan’s bowling action, often referred to as the “doosra,” was his secret weapon. Unlike traditional off-spinners, he used his wrist to impart extra spin on the ball, making it difficult for batsmen to read his deliveries. His ability to turn the ball sharply and extract bounce from even the most unresponsive wickets was a sight to behold.

The doosra, which spins away from right-handed batsmen, became his trademark delivery. It was a ball that left batsmen clueless, often resulting in wickets or dot balls. Muralitharan’s mastery over this delivery made him a nightmare for batsmen around the world.

Record-breaking moments in Muralitharan’s career

Throughout his career, Muralitharan shattered numerous records and set benchmarks that may never be surpassed. In 2007, he became the highest wicket-taker in Test matches, surpassing the previous record set by Shane Warne. Muralitharan’s tally of 800 Test wickets is a testament to his longevity and consistency in the game.

Not only did Muralitharan excel in Test cricket, but he also had a remarkable record in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). He holds the record for the most wickets in ODIs, with a staggering 534 wickets to his name. His ability to perform consistently across different formats of the game is a testament to his skill and adaptability.

Controversies surrounding Muralitharan’s bowling action

Despite his incredible achievements, Muralitharan’s career was not without controversies. Throughout his career, he faced scrutiny and criticism regarding the legality of his bowling action. Some experts and players questioned the legitimacy of his doosra and accused him of throwing the ball.

Muralitharan underwent several tests and modifications to his bowling action to address these concerns. However, the controversy continued to haunt him, and he faced constant challenges to his integrity as a player. Despite the controversies, Muralitharan’s records and performances speak for themselves, cementing his place as one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time.

Muralitharan’s impact on Sri Lankan cricket

Muralitharan’s impact on Sri Lankan cricket cannot be overstated. He played a crucial role in transforming the Sri Lankan team into a formidable force in world cricket. His ability to take wickets consistently and turn matches in his team’s favor made him an invaluable asset.

Moreover, Muralitharan served as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers in Sri Lanka. His success motivated countless young players to take up spin bowling and strive for excellence. His legacy lives on in the young spinners who continue to emulate his techniques and dream of achieving the same level of success.

Muralitharan’s achievements and accolades

Muralitharan’s list of achievements and accolades is extensive. In addition to his record-breaking wicket tally, he was also named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1999. He received the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year on multiple occasions.

Furthermore, Muralitharan played a pivotal role in leading the Sri Lankan team to victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup. His contributions with the ball were instrumental in securing the nation’s first-ever World Cup title. He was a true match-winner and a vital cog in the Sri Lankan team’s success.

Muralitharan’s retirement and post-cricket career

Muralitharan retired from international cricket in 2011, leaving behind a legacy that will be remembered for generations to come. After his retirement, he remained involved in the game as a coach and mentor. He shared his knowledge and experience with young cricketers, passing on the secrets of his success.

Muralitharan’s post-cricket career also saw him involved in various philanthropic activities. He established the Foundation of Goodness, a charitable organization that aims to uplift rural communities in Sri Lanka. Through this foundation, he has made a significant impact on the lives of many underprivileged individuals.

Legacy and influence of Muttiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan’s impact on the game of cricket extends far beyond his records and achievements. He changed the way spin bowling was perceived and revolutionized the art of off-spin. His unique bowling action and exceptional skills continue to inspire future generations of cricketers.

Muralitharan’s success also paved the way for other spinners from the subcontinent to make their mark on the international stage. His achievements opened doors for players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Yasir Shah, who have since become leading spinners in their respective teams.


In conclusion, Muttiah Muralitharan’s record-breaking career as a spin bowler is a testament to his skill, determination, and passion for the game. He not only redefined the art of spin bowling but also left an indelible mark on the world of cricket. His unique bowling action, coupled with his unmatched spin skills, made him a true wizard of the game. Muralitharan’s records and achievements will continue to inspire and awe cricket enthusiasts for years to come.

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