DateLine: 7th February 2009
Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan says he will bid adieu to cricket after the 2011 World Cup which will be played in the Indian sub-continent.
"Playing cricket is the only thing I know to do. Body is right, mentally I am fit and everything is coming right for me so I want to play as much as I can," Murali said. "I am thinking about playing till the next World Cup in 2011. I have nothing more to achieve after that. The World Cup will mark the end of my career," he said on Friday.
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are set to co-host the 2011 World Cup.
The 36-year-old Muralitharan, who surpassed Wasim Akram's ODI scalp of 502 during the fourth match against India on Thursday, says it felt great to be on top in both Tests as well as ODIs. "It's a great achievement because the only other person who has achieved such a feat in cricket (currently) is Sachin Tendulkar, who holds both batting records," Muralitharan said. "Playing for Sri Lanka and achieving this feat is great for me and the country. Everyone wants to play in both forms of the game, holding the records in both forms mean that I have done really well in 18 years," he added.
"We must look at where we have gone wrong and correct our mistakes and try to get back into winning ways," he said.
"Indian batsmen are playing well. They are not scared of getting out, whatever strokes they play, they play with confidence.
"Batsmen struggle when they lose confidence. At the moment the confidence level of this batting line-up is very high, so whatever they are doing it's going their way. It happens in cricket," he said.
What remains to be seen, Murali said, is whether India continues their dominance for years like Australia did.
"It could change or it could go on like the way Australia did for the last 10 years. Now you see Australia are struggling with same players because their confidence level has gone down. Cricket is all about confidence," he said.