Warne backs Murali to go for 1000 scalps

Published: Thursday, April 15, 2004, 19:52 [IST]
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London:Australian leg-spin great Shane Warne is putting his money on spin rival Muttiah Muralitharan becoming the first bowler to take 1,000 Test wickets.

The Sri Lankan has 513 Test victims, four behind Aussie legend Warne and six adrift of world record holder Courtney Walsh.

Warne, 34, said: "I would like to think I can get to 600 because I have a couple of years left at Test level and I am only 80-odd away.

"But Murali is only 31 and has loads of time to get to 1,000. He bowls half the Sri Lankan overs anyway and that must help."

Warne checked in as Hampshire skipper on Wednesday, two months after finishing a years suspension for taking banned drugs.

And he managed an incredible thing for an Aussie - praising the English Test side.

"I know they have run into Brian Lara now but to beat the West Indies after building up a 3-0 lead like that is a wonderful achievement," he said.

"Any win away from home is great and England have played some good, positive cricket."

Warne, who has a six-figure contract with the Second Division team, took 70 wickets for Hampshire during his last summer in county cricket in 2001.

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