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Murali wants to play in next World Cup

Special Correspondent

Port-of-Spain: Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's off-spin great, said he would like to play the 2011 World Cup "because it's on home soil." He added, however, that retirement can't be "pre-planned."

"I am 34 years old. In another four years, I will be 38," he said here. "Spinners can go on till the age of 40. I would love to play the next World Cup, because it's on home soil. You can't pre-plan retirement because you can't say I will retire in one or two years. Suddenly you think and say that's it."

Muralitharan dismissed talk of Sri Lanka being one of the favourites for the 2007 World Cup, saying the concept of a side being favoured to win a one-day game was flawed. "Newspapers can say (we are) favourites, but the game is a little different," said Muralitharan.

"You can have favourites in Test cricket, because it won't change in 10 or 15 overs. In one-day cricket, any team can beat anybody."

Despite being an enormously successful one-day bowler with 434 wickets from 288 matches, Muralitharan made his feelings for the format clear. "One-day cricket is like carnival cricket. The batsman just comes and slogs," he said.

Surprisingly for a bowler reputed to attack irrespective of the situation, Muralitharan said his method in limited-overs cricket involved containment. "Here you have to just stop batsmen from getting runs, so automatically wickets might come because they go for strokes."

Muralitharan also said with disarming candour that he didn't think he'd make a good captain. "It's too much pressure for me. As a bowler I have to think so much as a bowler when I am bowling than other things. I am not the best person to do the job."

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