Sri Lanka’s record-smashing Murali reveals secret of success

February 6, 2009 (AFP) – History-making Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan says mental toughness and hard work are the keys to success in international cricket. “It’s not all that sweet. It’s not easy to go on for such a long time because you have your ups and downs,” said Muralitharan, 36, after becoming the highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals with 503.

“The main point is how strong you are and how you make a comeback.”

The Sri Lankan spinner completed a record bowling double here on Thursday when he dismissed Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir in his 10th and last over in the fourth match here, surpassing former Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram’s one-day mark of 502.

He also holds the record in Test cricket with 769 wickets.

Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar is the only other player to hold two major world records — highest scorer in Tests (12,429) and one-dayers (16,440).

“It (the record double) is a great achievement because the only other person to have achieved the feat is Tendulkar, so playing for Sri Lanka and achieving this feat is great for me and the country,” said Muralitharan late Thursday.

“Everybody wants