Murali to hang his boots after WC

Colombo, Jan 21 (PTI) Sri Lankan spinner MuttiahMuralitharan today said that he would retire frominternational cricket after the 2011 World Cup to be held inthe sub-continent.

"This World Cup will be my last outing," the 38-year-oldveteran told reporters on the sidelines of a training sessionin here.

"I am retiring totally from international cricketthereafter," the off-spinner, who will though continue to rolehis arm in the Indian Premiere League (IPL), said.

Muralitharan was hired by Kochi franchisee during arecent auction in Bangalore for a sum of USD 1.1 million.

"My time is up. I have signed up to play for two years inthe IPL (Indian Premier League). I am also looking at similarwork in New Zealand and perhaps England," Muralitharan said.

The spinner, who holds the record for maximum number ofwickets in both Tests (800) and one-dayers (517), bid adieu toTest cricket in July last year after the opening match againstIndia in Galle.

Muralitharan, however, insisted that right now he isjust focusing on the cricketing extravaganza which isscheduled to commence on February 19.

Sri Lanka are considered to be the potential titlecontenders and their chances to fetch the second World Cupwill receive the necessary boost in the light that they havetraditionally been good in their backyard.

The country is supposed to host 12 WC games, includingthree at a new 22,000-seater stadium in Muralitharan''s homedistrict of Kandy.

The other matches will be held at the renovated PremadasaStadium in Colombo and a new cricket facility in Hambantota inthe southeren part of the island nation, though the venue hasalready breached the International Cricket Council''s (ICC)deadline.

"This is my fourth World Cup. We won in 1996 and cameclose in 2007 by reaching the final. This would be a memorableone for me and for Sri Lankan fans," he said.

Muralitharan also negated the reports that he was lookingahead to team up with retired Indian spinner Anil Kumble tostart a spin academy for youngsters and reieterated that hehad no immediate plans to switch to coaching.

"There are plenty of coaches and lots of talented peopleout there. I will take things as they come. For the moment, nocoaching stints," the bowler added. (PTI) SNK ATK

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