Sri Lanka’s Murali hopes to end on World Cup high

February 12, 2011 (AFP) – Record-breaking Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan goes into his fourth and final World Cup praying that he ends his glorious international career on a high. “In the end, it boils down to the team that takes it one match at a time.” “My role for this World Cup is to take as many wickets as possible,” says the 38-year-old off-spinner. “I just want to focus on my performance and not think about anything else.

“My aim is to put up my best for Sri Lanka.”

The world’s leading wicket-taker in both Tests (800) and one-dayers (517), Muralitharan bowed out of Test matches in July last year after the opening game against India in Galle.

He recently announced that he would quit one-day internationals as well after the World Cup, which starts on February 19 in Dhaka.

Sri Lanka, co-hosting the showpiece event with Bangladesh and India, last lifted the World Cup in Lahore in 1996 and were the losing finalists of the 2007 edition.

Muralitharan admitted there had been growing pressure from home fans to repeat the 1996 feat.

“A win would be a memorable one for me and for Sri Lankan fans,” he said.

“A winning team is made up of p