21 January 2011
Murali confirms his retirement date
The legendary off-spinner, who bowed out of Test matches in July last year, will play in his final international tournament in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Muttiah Muralidaran has confirmed that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 will be his last international tournament.
"This World Cup will be my last outing," Muralitharan, 38, told reporters on the sidelines of a training session in Colombo.
"I am retiring totally from international cricket thereafter."
Muralidaran, the world's leading wicket-taker in both Tests (800) and one-dayers (517), bowed out of Test matches in July last year after the opening match against India in Galle.
"My time is up. I have signed up to play for two years in the IPL (Indian Premier League). I am also looking at similar work in New Zealand and perhaps England," the off-spinner said.
Muralitharan said that he was currently focusing on the ICC Cricket World Cup, which ends on April 2.
"This is my fourth World Cup. We won in 1996 and came close in 2007 by reaching the final. This would be a memorable one for me and for Sri Lankan fans," he said.
Sri Lanka will host 12 Cup matches, including three at a new 22,000-seater stadium in Murali's home district of Kandy.
The other nine matches will be played at the renovated Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and a new cricket facility in Hambantota in the island's south.
Muralidaran said he had no immediate plans to switch to coaching despite reports last year that he was planning to team up with retired Indian spinner Anil Kumble to start a spin academy for youngsters.
"There are plenty of coaches and lots of talented people out there. I will take things as they come. For the moment, no coaching stints."
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