The Reuters global sports blog
Prodigious spin propelled by an abnormally strong wrist and an iron resolve forged in bitter acrimony over his unique action took Muttiah Muralitharan to unprecedented heights in world cricket.
Muralitharan, 38, took his 800th test wicket with his final ball in 133 tests on Thursday. With Twenty20 cricket cutting increasingly into the test programme it is a mark that is unlikely ever to be exceeded.
Muralitharan, son of a confectioner from Kandy and a member of the embattled Tamil minority, believes his best test figures 16 for 220 at the Oval in 1999 remain his career highlight.
The one-off test against an England side who had just beaten South Africa in a series was an unforgettable snapshot of his wondrous powers of flight and spin and the parallel emergence of Sri Lanka as a world force.