January 21, 2011 (AFP) – Record-breaking Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said Friday he would retire from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup. “This World Cup will be my last outing,” Muralitharan, 38, told reporters on the sidelines of a training session in Colombo.
“I am retiring totally from international cricket thereafter.”
The mega one-day event, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, starts on February 19.
Muralitharan, the world’s leading wicket-taker in both Tests (800) and one-dayers (517), bowed out of Test matches in July last year after the opening match against India in Galle.
“My time is up. I have signed up to play for two years in the IPL (Indian Premier League). I am also looking at similar work in New Zealand and perhaps England,” the off-spinner said.
Muralitharan said that he was currently focusing on the World Cup, which ends on April 2.
“This is my fourth World Cup. We won in 1996 and came close in 2007 by reaching the final. This would be a memorable one for me and for Sri Lankan fans,” he said.
Sri Lanka will host 12 Cup matches, including three at a new 22,000-seater stadium i