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Remarkable Journey of Cricketer M Muralitharan


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Muttiah Muralitharan, born on April 17, 1972, in Kandy, Sri Lanka, is widely regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers in the history of cricket. Renowned for his unique bowling action and exceptional skills, Muralitharan holds several records and achievements in international cricket.

Full Name Muttiah Muralitharan
Date of BirthApr 17, 1972
Birth PlaceKandy
Age51 years
Height5 ft 7 in
Role Bowler
Batting Style   Right Handed Bat
Bowling StyleRight-arm offbreak
NationalitySri Lanka

Early Life and Family Background

Muttiah Muralitharan, born on April 17, 1972, in Kandy, Sri Lanka, grew up in a modest family. His father, Sinnasamy Muttiah, worked as a biscuit baker, and his mother, Lakshmi, managed their home. Muralitharan’s early life was influenced by the challenges of civil unrest in Sri Lanka, particularly in his hometown.

Despite facing economic and social difficulties, Muralitharan discovered his passion for cricket at a young age. His family, recognizing his talent and determination, supported his pursuit of a cricketing career. He attended St. Anthony’s College in Kandy, where his cricketing prowess began to shine.

Muralitharan’s unique bowling talent, characterized by a distinctive bent-arm action, was evident even in his early days. While this brought him success on the cricket field, it also led to scrutiny and controversy over his bowling action.

Despite these challenges, Muralitharan’s family remained a source of support throughout his journey, and his early struggles only fueled his determination to become one of the greatest spin bowlers in the history of cricket.

Personal Life

Muttiah Muralitharan’s personal life is characterized by a balance of cricketing excellence and a private family-oriented demeanor. In 2005, he married Madhimalar Ramamurthy, a Chennai native. The couple has two children, a son named Naren and a daughter named Nakshatra.

Cricket Career

Domestic Career

Muttiah Muralitharan’s domestic cricket career was primarily centered around representing various teams in Sri Lanka. Here’s an overview:

  • Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club:

Muralitharan started his domestic career with the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club. His exceptional performances at the domestic level paved the way for his international debut.

  • Kent County Cricket Club:

Muralitharan had stints in English county cricket, playing for Kent. His success with Kent further solidified his reputation as a world-class spinner.

  • Lancashire County Cricket Club:

Muralitharan played for Lancashire in English county cricket. His performances for Lancashire contributed significantly to the team’s success during his tenure.

  • Chennai Super Kings (Indian Premier League – IPL):

In the Indian Premier League, Muralitharan played for the Chennai Super Kings. His spin bowling skills and strategic acumen made him a valuable asset in the IPL.

  • Kochi Tuskers Kerala (Indian Premier League – IPL):

Muralitharan also played for the Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the IPL, showcasing his experience and effectiveness in the T20 format.

International Career

Muttiah Muralitharan’s international cricket career is marked by extraordinary achievements and records as one of the greatest spin bowlers in the history of the sport:

  • Test Debut (1992):

Muralitharan made his Test debut for Sri Lanka against Australia in 1992. His unorthodox bowling action, characterized by a bent-arm, unique wrist position, and exceptional spin, drew attention.

  • One Day International (ODI) Debut (1993):

He made his ODI debut against India in 1993, quickly establishing himself as a key component of the Sri Lankan bowling attack.

  • Bowling Records:

Muralitharan holds the record for the most wickets in both Test and ODI cricket. In Tests, he claimed 800 wickets, while in ODIs, he secured 534 wickets before his retirement.

  • 1996 Cricket World Cup:

A pivotal figure in Sri Lanka’s 1996 Cricket World Cup triumph, Muralitharan played a crucial role in the team’s success. His performances were instrumental in securing the historic victory.

  • Challenges and Controversies:

Muralitharan faced scrutiny and controversy over his bowling action, particularly concerning the legality of his doosra. However, biomechanical testing later confirmed the legitimacy of his bowling action.

  • Retirement (2010):

Muralitharan retired from Test cricket in 2010, leaving the game as the highest wicket-taker in the format. His farewell Test match against India in Galle was a memorable occasion.

  • Retirement from ODIs (2011):

He retired from ODIs in 2011, concluding his limited-overs international career with numerous records and accolades.

  • Post-Retirement Contributions:

After retirement, Muralitharan has been involved in coaching, mentorship, and philanthropy. His contributions extend to nurturing young talents and promoting cricket globally.

Muttiah Muralitharan’s international career is not only defined by statistical prowess but also by his resilience, impact on Sri Lankan cricket, and lasting legacy in the annals of the game.

Batting Career Summary


Bowling Career Summary



Muttiah Muralitharan bid farewell to international cricket with a legacy that stands as a testament to his unparalleled spin bowling prowess. Here’s an overview of his retirement:

  • Test Retirement (2010):

Muralitharan retired from Test cricket after his 800th wicket against India in Galle on July 22, 2010. The emotional farewell marked the end of an illustrious Test career.

  • ODI Retirement (2011):

His retirement from One Day Internationals (ODIs) came a year later, in 2011, closing the chapter on a limited-overs international career that had seen him become the highest wicket-taker in ODIs at the time.

  • Final Bow (T20Is):

Muralitharan had retired from T20 Internationals in 2011 after the ICC World Twenty20. While he continued playing in domestic T20 leagues, he stepped back from international T20 competition.

  • Post-Retirement Roles:

Beyond playing, Muralitharan embraced coaching and mentoring roles. He shared his cricketing knowledge and experiences, contributing to the development of the next generation of cricketers.

  • Global T20 Leagues:

Muralitharan continued to be a sought-after figure in various global T20 leagues, showcasing his spin-bowling expertise to different franchises.


Muttiah Muralitharan’s legacy in cricket is profound and multi-faceted, defined by his exceptional spin-bowling skills, resilience in the face of challenges, and contributions to the game’s global growth:

  • Spin-Bowling Maestro:

Muralitharan is celebrated as one of the greatest spin bowlers in the history of cricket. His unique bowling action and mastery of various deliveries, including the doosra, set him apart as a cricketing maestro.

  • Record-breaking Achievements:

Holding the records for the most wickets in both Test and One Day International (ODI) cricket, Muralitharan’s statistical achievements underscore his dominance as a match-winner for Sri Lanka.

  • Cricket World Cup Triumph:

His pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s historic 1996 Cricket World Cup victory remains a defining moment. Muralitharan’s performances played a crucial part in securing the nation’s first-ever World Cup title.

  • Resilience in Controversy:

Muralitharan faced controversies surrounding his bowling action, yet his resilience and the subsequent validation of his action through extensive testing showcased his mental fortitude.

  • General Impact

Beyond Sri Lanka, Muralitharan’s influence extended globally through his participation in various T20 leagues. His presence in international cricket brought a diverse array of experiences and strategies.

  • Coaching and Mentorship:

Embracing coaching roles post-retirement, Muralitharan has contributed to nurturing young talents. His insights and guidance continue to shape the next generation of spin bowlers.

  • Philanthropy:

The establishment of the ‘Foundation of Goodness’ reflects Muralitharan’s commitment to philanthropy. The organization focuses on uplifting rural communities in Sri Lanka, showcasing his dedication to social impact beyond cricket.


In conclusion, Muttiah Muralitharan’s cricketing journey is an extraordinary tale of resilience, skill, and global influence. As one of the greatest spin bowlers in history, his legacy is etched in records, from the 800 Test wickets to being a linchpin in Sri Lanka’s World Cup triumph. Beyond statistics, Muralitharan’s impact resonates in his ability to overcome controversies, mentor the next generation, and contribute to cricket’s expansion globally.

His retirement marked the end of a glorious era, leaving behind a legacy that extends beyond the boundary. Muralitharan’s philanthropy work, coaching roles, and his unwavering commitment to the spirit of the game ensure that his influence transcends statistical achievements, making him an enduring figure in the cricketing pantheon. Muralitharan’s story is not just about wickets taken; it’s a narrative of triumph over adversity, a testament to the power of talent, perseverance, and the enduring magic of spin.

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