Muralitharan closes in on 800 as India struggle

Muttiah Muralitharan has explained his decision to retire from international cricket, saying there is “nothing left to achieve”. The Sri Lankan spinner announced he would be ending his 20-year Test cricket career in just over two weeks time on Tuesday.

Muralitharan, who has played 132 Tests and taken 792 wickets, will retire from the five-day format of the game after the first of three home Test matches to be played against India, which begins on 18 July. The 38-year-old said that age was an important factor. “It was not a very difficult [decision],” he said. “In fact, it was easy. I’m not getting any younger. You can’t play cricket for ever and ever. Anyway, I have achieved what I wanted to achieve.”

Muralitharan said that he had been pondering retirement for a while now.

“I was thinking about it for a long time. I thought ‘why not retire against India’ as they are the No 1 Test side.”

His career is not entirely over, though. “There is the Indian Premier League – I will also play county cricket in England. This will surely keep me busy,” he said.