30 November 200919:29

Muralitharan's 2011 World Cup plans rely on fitness

Muralitharan is hoping to play in the World Cup jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in early 2011

Muralitharan's 2011 World Cup plans rely on fitness - Cricket News

Sri Lanka's cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan.

Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan will not extend his international career until the 2011 World Cup unless he is completely satisfied with his fitness, the world-record breaking off-spinner has said.

Muralitharan, who has taken the most wickets in both test (788) and one-day cricket (512), announced in July he would retire from the longer format at the end of 2010.

However, the veteran was hoping to play in the One-Day International World Cup jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in early 2011 but is reconsidering his commitments following a frustrating first two tests in India this month.

"I am 37 years old and I can't bowl as much because I get tired after 15-16 overs," Muralitharan told Cricinfo website (www.cricinfo.com).

"But I will try and play a little bit of one-day cricket - that's only 10 overs to bowl.

"If I find everything is not going well I might retire from both forms of the game before the World Cup. Everything depends on how much my body can take."

Muralitharan made his international debut in 1992 and was a member of Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup-winning squad, but now playing in his final overseas test series, he has conceded 396 runs and taken only five wickets in three innings in India.

His poor run form has also caused him to drop from the top of the ICC test bowlers rankings for the first time in three years, slipping to third place behind South Africa's Dale Steyn and Australia's Mitchell Johnson.

Sri Lanka lost the second test by an innings in Kanpur after a high-scoring opening game ended in a draw.

The third and final test starts in Mumbai on Wednesday.