Deshabandu Muttiah Muralitharan , a Sri Lankan cricket coach, businessman, former professional cricketer and an inductee into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. With an average of six wickets per match in Test cricket, Muralitharan is widely regarded as the most successful bowler in international cricket. The only player to have taken 800 Test wickets as well as more than 531 One Day International (ODI) wickets. In 2022, he had been the most wicket-taking bowler for international cricket than anyone else.
Muralitharan’s career in international cricket was marred by controversy surrounding his bowling technique. Due to an unusually high extension of his congenitally bent arm in delivery, his bowling style was questioned several times by umpires and a section members of the Cricket community. Following a biomechanical study under simulated playing conditions, his action was approved through the International Cricket Council, first in 1996 and later in 1999.
Muralitharan was ranked at the top position within the Cricket World Council’s player rankings of Test bowlers for an unprecedented period of 1,711 consecutive days that included more than 214 Test matches. He became the top player to take wicket in Test cricket after he beat the record-holder Shane Warne on 3 December 2007. Muralitharan was previously the holder of the record after he beat Courtney Walsh’s record of 519 wickets in 2004 but he was struck by shoulder injuries later in the year and was eventually overtaken by Warne. Muralitharan was the one to take his wicket from Gautam Gambhir on February 5, 2009 at Colombo to beat Wasim Akram’s ODI record of 502 wickets. He resigned from cricket in the year 2010 and took his 800th wicket and the final one on the 22nd of July, 2010 after the ball he took his final Test match.
Muralitharan was named the best test match cricketer in Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanac in 2002. He also in 2017, he was one of the very first Sri Lankan cricketer to be admitted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Ada Derana Sri Lankan of the Award in 2017.
|Full name||Muttiah Muralitharan|
|Born||17 April 1972
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Bowling||Right-arm off break|
|Test debut (cap 54)||28 August 1992 v Australia|
|Last Test||18 July 2010 v India|
|ODI debut (cap 70)||12 August 1993 v India|
|Last ODI||2 April 2011 v India|
|ODI shirt no.||8|
|T20I debut (cap 13)||22 December 2006 v New Zealand|
|Last T20I||31 October 2010 v Australia|
|Domestic team information|
|1999, 2001, 2005, 2007||Lancashire|
|2008–2010||Chennai Super Kings|
|2011||Kochi Tuskers Kerala|
|2012–2014||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 8 January 2014
The early years and the personal life
Muralitharan was born on the 17th of April 1972 into an Hill Country Tamil Hindu family in Kandy, Sri Lanka, the fourth and eldest sons of Sinnasamy Muttiah as well as Lakshmi. Muralitharan’s father Sinnasamy Muttiah, runs a profitable biscuit manufacturing business. The paternal grandfather of Muralitharan’s Periyasamy Sinasamy came to South India to work in the tea plantations in Central Sri Lanka in 1920. Sinasamy then returned to Sri Lanka with his family. where he was born along with his daughters and moved to Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India. However, his sons which included Muralitharan’s mother Muttiah was still within Sri Lanka.
At the age of nine older, Muralitharan was sent to St. Anthony’s College in Kandy which was a private school that was run by Benedictine monks. The young man began his cricket career as a medium-pace bowler, but following the guidance of his coach at school, Sunil Fernando, he began off-spin when he was 14 years old. He was soon awed and was able to be a part of the First XI. At the time, he was playing as an all-rounder, and was a middle-order batsman. In his two final years at St Anthony’s College he took more than one hundred wickets, and was named in 1990-91 as the Bata schoolboy cricketer of the year’.
After leaving school, he joined the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club and was picked as a player for Sri Lanka A tour of England in the year 1991. He took part in five matches but was unable to take one wicket. When he returned back to Sri Lanka he impressed against Border’s Australian team in a training game, and later went on to play his first Test match at the R. Premadasa Stadium in the second test Match of the Series.
His grandfather passed away at the age of 104 in July 2004, Muralitharan returned home from his tour of India to attend the funeral. Periyasamy Sinasamy’s dream to have Muralitharan setting the record in terms of most wickets taken in a Test was fulfilled (passing that record held by Courtney Walsh), but it was not his intention to witness his son’s wedding. Muralitharan’s mother had passed away a month prior in the year 97. Muralitharan’s manager Kushil Gunasekera, said his belief that “Murali’s family is close and unifying. They adhere to the traditional values. The late grandfather had a close connection to Murali.”
Muralitharan got married to Madhimalar Ramamurthy, a Chennai native, on the 21st March 2005. Madhimalar is the son of former doctor S. Ramamurthy of Malar Hospitals as well as his spouse Dr Nithya Ramamurthy. Their first baby, Naren, was born in the month of January in 2006.
Muttiah Muralitharan is a holder of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and does not require a visa when traveling to India. As per his supervisor Kushil Gunasekera Muralitharan is eligible for this status since his family is from India. Muttiah declared on the 3rd of April 2011 that he was resigning from all sports.