Muralitharan's paternal grandfather Periyasamy Sinasamy came from South India to work in the tea plantations of central Sri Lanka in 1920. Muralitharans belong to the Kongu Vellalar caste which is the caste majority of people from the north-western part of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Sinasamy later returned to the country of his birth with his daughters and settled in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India. However his sons, including Muralitharan's father Muttiah, remained in Sri Lanka.
Muralitharan was born in the village of Nattarampotha in Kundasale, the eldest of the four sons to Sinnasamy Muttiah and Lakshmi. Muralitharan's father Sinnasamy Muttiah, runs a successful biscuit-making business.
When he was nine years old Muralitharan was sent to St. Anthony's College, Kandy, a private school run by Benedictine monks. He began his cricketing career as a medium pace bowler but on the advice of his school coach, Sunil Fernando, he took up off-spin when he was fourteen years old. He soon impressed and went on to play for four years in the school First XI. In those days he played as an all-rounder and batted in the middle order. In his final two seasons at St Anthony's College he took over one hundred wickets and in 1990/1 was named as the 'Bata Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year'.
After leaving school he joined Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club and was selected for the Sri Lanka A tour of England in 1991. He played in five games but failed to capture a single wicket. On his return to Sri Lanka he impressed against Allan Border's Australian team in a practice game and then went on to make his Test debut at R. Premadasa Stadium in the Second Test Match of the series.International career
Bowling style and career progress
Muralitharan is the first wrist-spinning off-spinner in the history of the game. He bowls marathon spells, yet he is usually on the attack. His unique bowling action begins with an open-chested short run-up, and culminates with an extremely wristy release which had him mistaken for a leg-spinner early in his career by Allan Border. Aside from his off-break, his main deliveries are a fast topspinner which goes straight on, and the doosra, a surprise delivery which turns from leg to off (the opposite direction of his stock delivery) with no easily discernible change of action. His newest variation is a version of Shane Warne's slider, which is flicked out the side of his hand and rushes onto batsmen like a flipper. His super-flexible wrist makes him especially potent and guarantees him turn on any surface.
Since his debut in 1992, Muralitharan has taken 800 Test wickets and over 500 One Day International wickets, becoming the first player to take 1,000 wickets combined in the two main forms of international cricket.Test cricket
On 28 August 1992 at the age of 20, Muralitharan made his debut against Australia at the Khettarama Stadium and claimed 3 for 141. Craig McDermott was his first Test wicket. His freakish action and his angular run-up showed that this was no run-of-the-mill spinner. During his first Test, there was one dismissal which convinced many of Muralitharan's special powers. Tom Moody's leg-stump was dislodged when he shouldered arms to a delivery that pitched at least two feet outside the off-stump.
The youthful Muralitharan went from strength to strength, playing a major part in Sri Lanka's back-to-back Test victories against England and New Zealand in 1992–93. It was at this point in his career that he struck a close bond with his leader, mentor and one time business partner, the authoritative captain Arjuna Ranatunga. This relationship formed the bedrock of his success and meant that there were few doubts about his status as the team's sole wicket-taker. Ranatunga was thoroughly convinced that Muralitharan's precocious talent would signal a new era in Sri Lanka's short Test history.
In August 1993 at Moratuwa, Muralitharan captured 5 for 104 in South Africa's first innings, his first five-wicket haul in Tests. His wickets include Kepler Wessels, Hansie Cronje and Jonty Rhodes.
Muralitharan has continued to baffle batsman outside the shores of Sri Lanka, irrespective of the team's performance. In Sri Lanka's humiliating drubbing at the hands of India in 1993–94, where all three Tests were innings defeats, Muralitharan was the sole success, with 12 wickets in the rubber. His perseverance in the face of some astronomical scores by the fearsome quartet of and Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Navjot SidhuVinod Kambli was in sharp contrast to the submission with which his team-mates played the series.Passing Walsh and Warne
In May 2004, Muralitharan overtook West Indian Courtney Walsh's record of 519 Test match wickets to become the highest wicket-taker. Zimbabwe's Mluleki Nkala becomes Muralitharan's 520th scalp in Tests. Muralitharan held the record until Shane Warne claimed it in October 2004. Warne surpassed Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan's mark of 532 wickets by dismissing India's Irfan Pathan. Warne said he enjoyed his duel with Muralitharan, who was sidelined following shoulder surgery at the time.
After an outstanding year Muralitharan was adjudged as the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 2006. In six Tests, he took 60 wickets. He took ten in each of four successive matches, the second time he has performed such a feat. The opponents for his 60-wicket haul were England away, South Africa at home and New Zealand away: serious opposition. In all, Muralitharan took 90 wickets in 11 Tests in the calendar year.
In July 2007, Muttiah Muralitharan become the second bowler after Australia's Shane Warne to capture 700 Test wickets. The off-spinner reached the landmark when he had Bangladesh's last man Syed Rasel caught in the deep by Farveez Maharoof on the fourth day of the third and final Test at the Asgiriya stadium in Kandy. The dismissal signalled Sri Lanka's victory by an innings and 193 runs to give the host a 3–0 sweep of the series. Muralitharan finished with six wickets in each innings to claim 10 wickets or more in a Test for the 20th time. However, he was unable to pass Warne's record of 708 wickets when Sri Lanka toured Australia in November 2007, capturing just four wickets in two Test matches.
Muralitharan's test cricket performance analysis
Muralitharan's test cricket performance analysis