Sri Lankan cricketer. A right-arm off-spin bowler, capable of turning the ball at sharp angles, he made his Test debut in 1992 and holds the record for the most wickets taken in Test cricket. He became the first Sri Lankan to reach 100 wickets in Test cricket, and the first bowler ever to take 800 Test wickets. He broke Courtney Walsh's record of 519 Test wickets in 2004 but was overtaken later that year by Shane Warne. In December 2007 he took the record back from Warne and took his 800th and final wicket with the last ball of his final Test.
Test cricket (1992–2010) appearances: 133; overs: 7,339.5; wickets: 800; runs: 18,180; average: 22.72; best: 9–51 (v. Zimbabwe 2002); batting: runs: 1,261; average: 11.67; catches: 72
One-day internationals (1993–2011) appearances: 350; overs: 3,135.1; wickets: 534; runs: 12,326; average: 23.08; best: 7–30 (v. India 2000); batting: runs: 674; average: 6.80; catches: 130
All first-class cricket (1990–2010) appearances: 232; overs: 11,155.3; wickets: 1,374; runs: 26,997; average: 19.64; best: 9–51 (v. Zimbabwe 2002); batting: runs: 2,192; average: 11.35; catches: 123
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1999
Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World 2000, 2006
His 16 wickets for 220 runs against England at the Oval in 1998 were the fifth-best match figures in the history of Test cricket. Despite his prodigious wicket-taking feats, there was recurring controversy over his bowling action stemming from a deformity to his bowling arm which could give the impression that he was illegally throwing the ball (the laws of cricket require that there should be no bending of the elbow before the ball has left the bowler's hand). He was no-balled for throwing by Australian umpires in 1996 but the following year the International Cricket Council Board declared that his action was legal. He was no-balled again in January 1999. However, in June of that year a group of Australian academics specializing in biomechanics concluded that his action was legitimate after conducting a scientific analysis using computer technology.
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