Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, the man with more international wickets than any other player in history, has been confirmed as the sixth and final international franchise player for this year’s Caribbean Premier league.
The man known universally as Murali has 1347 wickets across the Test, One-Day International and Twenty20 International formats in an international career spanning 20 years, and now he will line up in the inaugural franchise-based tournament that will take place in six countries in July and August.”I am really looking forward to playing in the first ever CPL – it is going to be a fantastic spectacle for the fans and a great experience for all the players involved ” stated Murali.
“I am good friends with a number of the West Indian players, especially Chris Gayle as we play together in IPL, and having the chance to play on a team with guys competing in their home countries will be fantastic for me. I am also excited that there will be so many young West Indian players involved in the tournament and I hope to pass on some of my cricketing experiences as the tournament progresses. I can’t wait for it to get started.”
The 41 year-old, currently playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, slots in along with other international stars Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist from Australia, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, Pakistan T20I captain Mohammad Hafeez and Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa as confirmed big-name signings.
Murali’s hauls of 800 Test wickets and 534 wickets in ODIs are both marks that are unlikely ever to be surpassed and he is one of only two bowlers, along with fellow spinner Shane Warne, to have topped 1000 wickets in international cricket.
His Test haul includes 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 instances of 10 wickets in a match, and he also has 10 five-wicket hauls in ODIs.
Also confirmed are six West Indies franchise players – Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels.
The players draft, which is set to take place on May 24, will determine who will be playing where, with six franchises to be announced based in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago. (windiescricket)††