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Murali sets his sight on One-day record

Murali sets his sight on One-day record

Muralitharan says his immediate target is to overhaul Akram's record.

Karachi: Sri Lanka's spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan said his immediate target at international level is to overhaul Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram's world record of One-day wickets.

"I want to take 30-odd wickets to get to Wasim's world record in One-day cricket and try out for 1,000 wickets in Tests," Muralitharan said before his team's crucial Super League match against hosts Pakistan in the Asia Cup.

The off-spinner already holds the record for most Test wickets with, 735 in 120 matches and needs 37 more to overhaul Wasim's long standing One-day record of 502 wickets.

The 36-year-old Sri Lankan, regarded as one of the greatest spinners ever, said he is at a stage of his career where he takes it match by match.

"I love this game, so I want to play on but it would depend on my fitness and how I contribute to the team's performance. That is very important for me because you must contribute to the team's performances," he said.

He added that the game — with three demanding forms of Twenty20, 50-over One-day cricket and five-day Tests — has become more demanding. "I have played all forms of the game and I admit that its getting tougher not because I am getting older but there are lots of expectations in a tight schedule.

"It was not such when I started playing in 1994-95. There are three forms of the game and if you are playing in all you have to adjust quickly and do your best."

Muralitharan singled out Test cricket as his favourite. "For me adjusting to different forms is not difficult but personally I love Test cricket where you have more chance. In One-day cricket people want high scores and there are flat wickets where bowlers have less chance."

After the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka host India for three Tests and five One-day Internationals next month.

Wasim admits Muralitharan deserves all records in international cricket. "I often joke with him to retire from One-day cricket so that my record remains intact but frankly speaking he deserved the Test record and should get my record in the time to come," said Wasim.

first published:June 29, 2008, 17:37 IST