Muttiah Muralitharan – an inspiration for a number of different reasons.

He might be jumping for joy but so should we all….the amazing Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan cricket hero last week achieved what is probably an impossible record to break with his 800th. wicket in international test match cricket.

It was an amazing thing to do, of course, legendary and the stuff of schoolboy dreams but to get that final wicket on the final day of his final innings with his last ball was, well, just perfect.

You do not have to love cricket or even understand it to recognise that Muralitharan has done something very special. I used to play at school which meant fielding a long way away from the action, usually in front of the stinging nettles and then dozing on a sunny bank by the pavilion when I was waiting, usually in vain, to bat.

I may have been useless at it but I spent all my childhood summers on a cricket field, mostly thinking about other things admittedly, but the game, somehow, sunk in, and this Sri Lankan moment sent the blood coursing through my veins.

Well done Muttiah for achieving your record, for being an amazing sportsman but, it has to be said, and well done for being a brilliant Tamil sportsman who using his fame to help and support your compatriots through a difficult and dangerous time. All strength to your arm Muttiah.

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