Murali hints at retiring next year: report

Published: Friday, January 13, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan has hinted he could retire next year, citing the impending birth of his first child and wear and tear on his body, a report said.

"I will play until 2007, then keep an open mind about whether to play or not," the 33-year-old told the Herald-Sun newspaper.

"It depends on how things go around me. I have got married. In another 10 days' time, I will get a baby boy.

"I am looking forward to that. I have enjoyed my cricket for 15, 16 years. Now I have my family life."

Muralitharan has taken 584 Test wickets, behind only Shane Warne who has snared 659, but says he has no ambition to end his career ahead of the Australian master.

"I am not thinking about the record or anything," he was quoted as saying.

"I had the record. I had my moments in cricket. It's not about the record. It's about how you are playing, how you enjoy it, the memories.

"Fifteen, 20 years time, somebody will come along and take 1,000 wickets. Records are nothing."

If Muralitharan retires, it is unlikely any current bowler will overtake Warne, 36, who has suggested he might play until 2009.

The Sri Lankan said his main aim was to take 1,000 wickets in Tests and one-dayers combined.

He currently has 395 one-day scalp to add to his Test tally, taking him to 979 in total.

"Once I reach that I'll see how the body goes and everything and I'll see whether I continue on," he said.

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