We were gutted after the World Cup Loss
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COLOMBO: "We were gutted", Muttiah Muralitharan said on Wednesday about Sri Lanka's defeat by India in the World Cup final, a match he had hoped to be the grand finale of his career during which he has collected 1334 international wickets.
The Lankan team thought that 274 was a good total but "God does not give everything", the off-spinner recalled about last Saturday's final at the Wankhede stadium.
The match had been billed as a contest between two of the game's greatest, Sachin Tendulkar and Muralitharan. The Indian fulfilled his dream of a World Cup win but the Sri Lankan went wicketless.
Muralitharan had ended his Test career last year on a sensational note taking his 800th wicket with his last ball against India. There was no such fairytale ending to his ODI career during which he took 534 wickets.
Looking back at his 20-year career which had its share of controversies with regard to his bowling action, Muralitharan said that the 1996 World Cup win remained the greatest moment in his cricketing career.
Asked if he believed that his record of 800 Test wickets would be broken, he replied, "you never know. For a long time 300 wickets in Test cricket used to be the benchmark.
"It took a long time to take it to 400 and that remained for a long time. Now it's 800. If someone has a long career and is able to keep out of injuries it could happen", he said.
He was full of praise for Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni under whom he played in IPL for Chennai Superkings. "MS is sharp and does not lose his cool when things are tough.
"He remains calm and takes decisions. When tension is high, it is very important to remain calm. It is not easy, but MS has been able to do that. And that is one reason for his success", he said.