Sri Lanka spinning wizard Muttiah Muralitharan has revealed he may retire next year, leaving Shane Warne to be Test cricket`s leading wicket-taker for at least the next two decades.
Muralitharan, 33, says the impending birth of his first child and the wear and tear of 14 years at the elite level may mean he will quit after the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.
`I will play until 2007, then keep an open mind about whether to play or not,` he said.
`I have got married. In another 10 days time, I will get a baby boy. I am looking forward to that. I have enjoyed my cricket for 15, 16 years. Now I have my family life.`
Muralitharan (584) is behind only Warne (659) as Test cricket`s leading wicket-taker, having last held the mantle outright in mid-2004, and said he was not interested in regaining the record.
`I had the record. I had my moments,` he said. `Fifteen, 20 years time, somebody will come along and take 1000 wickets.
`Records are nothing.`
If Muralitharan does retire, it`s unlikely any current bowler will overtake Warne, 36, who this week suggested he may play on for another four years.
If the leg spinner continues at his current rate of 4.88 wickets per Test, he could finish with close to 1000 wickets.