The greatest spinner of all-time, Muttiah Muralitharan will be formally inducted to the ICC Hall of Fame during the ICC Champions Trophy scheduled to be played in England & Wales from the 1st of June 2017. Muttiah will join former Australian captain Karen Rolton, Arthur Morris and George Lohmann in this year’s induction ceremony. However, he will go down as the first Sri Lankan to be voted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
Muttiah was given the choice of being inducted during the Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka and the India tour but chose the ICC Champions Trophy considering its prominence in world cricket. Precisely, the induction is scheduled to take place when Sri Lanka plays India on June 8th at the Oval Cricket Ground.
“It gives us immense sense of pride that Murali is receiving this highest honour. We are proud of him and the glory he has brought to Cricket in Sri Lanka. His illustrious career demonstrates that he belongs to this highly prestigious group,” said Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley De Silva.
With 800 wickets in 133 matches, Murali holds the record for the highest number of wickets in Test Cricket. He also has the highest number of wickets (534) in one day international cricket (350). For a record period of 1,711 days, spanning 214 Test matches, Muttiah held the number one spot in ICC’s player rankings for bowlers in Test Cricket.
Muttiah, From Simple Beginnings To One Of The Greats
Muttiah made his test debut in 1992 after graduating from St. Anthony’s College, Kandy where he learnt his cricket under Sunil Fernando. Muttiah was a member of the 1996 world cup squad. Furthermore, he played a key role when Sri Lanka shared the ICC Champions Trophy with India in 2002. Muttiah announced his retirement from Test cricket in July 2010.
“He decided to fast-track his decision because he realised that his body could not take the vigorous kind of physical demands of a five-day match. The best time to go is when you know that you can’t do it the way you did before. Everything in life has an expiry date,” said Muttiah’s manager Kushil Gunasekara.
He continued to play franchise based cricket for a couple of years. But spent more time with his family as he barely found time when he played in the national side.
During his career, Murali had a strategy for almost every obstacle that came his way. He was once criticized for chucking but biomechanical analysis came out against the ICC’s claims. He mastered the doosra that was unplayable in the latter part of his career. The greatest of batsmen feared Murali and faced him with respect.
Foundation of Goodness, Murali Cup And ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
With Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena’s support, Muttiah established the Foundation of Goodness to develop cricket in the war torn North. He also organised the Murali Cup to identify talented youngsters who often go unnoticed. His level of generosity extended from cricket to disaster relief in the island.
“The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises some of the truly great players from cricket’s long and illustrious history, and this year’s inductees thoroughly deserve to be in this highly prestigious group. Muralitharan has been one of the greats of the modern era. His guile and consistency over the years helped Sri Lanka develop as a very competitive side in both Tests and ODI cricket. Muralitharan, whose last international fixture was the World Cup final in 2011, finished his career with 800 wickets in Tests, 534 in ODIs and 13 wickets in 12 T20Is,” said ICC chief executive David Richardson.
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