SYDNEY: Leading Test wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan has signed for the Melbourne Renegades for next season's Australian Twenty20 Big Bash League, the team said on Friday.
The 40-year-old Sri Lankan spin maestro, who retired from international cricket after Sri Lanka lost the World Cup final to India last year, will be playing in the domestic Big Bash tournament for the first time.
“I wanted to play one season in Australia and the opportunity from the Melbourne Renegades was there so I took it with both hands,” Muralitharan said in a team statement.
He said he looked forward to lining up against his old Australian “foe” Shane Warne who plays for the Melbourne Stars.
“I think Shane is a great bowler and I've always admired him. I'll try to do well and he'll try to do well for his team,” he said.
Muralitharan finished his Test career with a record 800 wickets, 92 ahead of Warne, who retired from Tests in 2007.
Muralitharan confirmed the “doosra” -- the difficult-to-bowl leg-spinner delivered with an off-spinning action -- would be on show this southern summer on a specially-prepared drop-in pitch at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium.
“Sometimes the drop-in pitches can assist the spinners so that might help me,” he said.
“There's a big Sri Lankan community (in Melbourne) so hopefully they can come and watch.”
The eight-team Big Bash League gets under way on December 7 with the final on January 19.