Island Cricket

Friday, November 23, 2007

Murali targets England for record | BBC

Murali targets England for record: Muralitharan will have to wait until December's series against England to break Shane Warne's Test wickets record after failing in Australia.

The Sri Lanka off-spinner, 35, is now four wickets short of equalling Warne's mark of 708 having claimed just four victims in the two-Test series.

"Unfortunately we could not do it on Australian soil," said Muralitharan's team-mate Kumar Sangakkara.

"He has got three Tests against England so the record for him is a given."

Murali's 704 wickets have come at an average of 21.77, although he has managed only 12 wickets at 75.41 in five Tests in Australia.

Sangakkara said the tourists were disappointed the spinner did not match Warne's total in the legendary leg-spinner's own country but added that it did not distract them from matters on the pitch.

"If we were going to focus entirely on the fact that this is Murali's record I think that would have taken something away from the team's focus," he added.

"Murali understands it and the guys understand it and we've always had an enormous amount of love and respect for Murali just because he is a champion and his efforts help the team.

"We are disappointed for him, he's disappointed himself, but it's not the end of the world for Murali, he has got many more years of Test cricket to go."

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