Murali to retire from Test cricket next year

Muttiah Muralitharan The 37-year-old off-spinner said he is eyeing the two Test matches against the West Indies in November next year as his farewell series because he feels his body cannot bear the rigours of five-day games for much longer.

"We don't have many Test matches next year but I am thinking that next year's Test series against West Indies (in November) will be my last two Test matches," Muralitharan said after Sri Lanka registered a 36-run victory over Pakistan in the first ODI here.

Muralitharan has been struggling with a knee injury for quite sometime, which forced him to stay out of Sri Lanka's recent Test series win over Pakistan. His decision came after doctors warned him against surgery at this moment as it could virtually see the end of his career.

"I put in a lot of effort in the past month to get fit. The doctors told me I have to go through (the pain) and train harder because an operation will mean me being out for six to seven months.

"They think I'll be able to play for one to two years and told me to have the operation when I finish playing. That means my career is almost over and I am not going to play for long," he said.

Muralitharan, however, said he plans to carry on playing shorter formats of the game for few more years.

"I still want to play on if I can to the 2011 World Cup and I will enjoy playing T20 for a few more years if I can," said the Sri Lanka spinner, who is the leading wicket taker in Test history with 770 from 127 match.

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