Srilankan CricketersSrilankan cricket team players
Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka Cricket Player
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1999
Muttiah Muralitharan is one of the most successful bowlers & the greatest player in Sri Lanka's history, and without doubt the most controversial cricketer of the modern age. Muralitharan's rise from humble beginnings, being the Tamil son of a hill-country confectioner, to the top of the wicket-takers' list in Test cricket has divided the cricket world in the past decade because of his weird bent-arm bowling action.
He bowls marathon spells, yet is forever on the attack. From a loose-limbed, open-chested action, his chief weapons are the big-spinning offbreak and two versions of the top-spinner, one of which goes straight on and the other, which has now been labelled his doosra, which spins in the opposite direction to his stock ball. His newest variation is a version of Shane Warne's slider, which is flicked out the side of his hand and rushes onto batsmen like a flipper. His super-flexible wrist makes him especially potent and guarantees him turn on any surface.
On the field, Murali continued to pile on the wickets, overtaking Courtney Walsh's 519-wicket world record to become the highest wicket-taker in Test history in May 2004.
It is unlikely that Muralitharan's career will ever be controversy-free, a fact that he now accepts. But the rapid progress of technology and sports science in the past decade has undoubtedly salvaged his reputation. Many previous high-profile doubters are now admitting that Muralitharan has been unjustly persecuted for having an abnormal action. Having recovered from the shoulder surgery kept him out of the game for the last part of 2004, Murali is ready to add to his already imposing tally. At the rate he is accumulating wickets, a Test tally in excess of 650 seems eminently achievable.
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