Murali to hang his boots after WC

"This World Cup will be my last outing," the 38-year-old veteran told reporters on the sidelines of a training session in here.

"I am retiring totally from international cricket thereafter," the off-spinner, who will though continue to role his arm in the Indian Premiere League (IPL), said.

Muralitharan was hired by Kochi franchisee during a recent auction in Bangalore for a sum of USD 1.1 million.

"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," Muralitharan said.

The spinner, who holds the record for maximum number of wickets in both Tests (800) and one-dayers (517), bid adieu to Test cricket in July last year after the opening match against India in Galle.

Muralitharan, however, insisted that right now he is just focusing on the cricketing extravaganza which is scheduled to commence on February 19.

Sri Lanka are considered to be the potential title contenders and their chances to fetch the second World Cup will receive the necessary boost in the light that they have traditionally been good in their backyard.

The country is supposed to host 12 WC games, including three at a new 22,000-seater stadium in Muralitharan's home district of Kandy.

The other matches will be held at the renovated Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and a new cricket facility in Hambantota in the southeren part of the island nation, though the venue has already breached the International Cricket Council's (ICC) deadline.

"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.

Muralitharan also negated the reports that he was looking ahead to team up with retired Indian spinner Anil Kumble to start a spin academy for youngsters and reieterated that he had no immediate plans to switch to coaching.

"There are plenty of coaches and lots of talented people out there. I will take things as they come. For the moment, no coaching stints," the bowler added.

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