Sri Lanka’s greatest gift to the cricket world, Muttiah Muralitharan has been named as the Most Valuable Test Player of the 21st Century by the Wisden Cricket Monthly.
The magazine has released a list of top 30 players in the 21st century and the magician from Sri Lanka tops the list.
The Marketing Director of Wisden Cricket Monthly, Sam Stow said, “We have collected the data from the year 2000, so the list is for the period 2000-2020. Out of Murali’s total 800 Test wickets, his 573 wickets in 85 matches were taken from January 1st 2000 to 2010. Only person ahead during this period is James Anderson with 584 but he has played 151 games (2000-2020)”
Now the bowling mentor of IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, Muralitharan has won 11 players of the series awards in Test cricket, which is the highest by any player. He is also behind only to Jacques Kallis in the list of highest players of the Match awards. (23- Kallis, 19- Murali)
Wisden has partnered with Cricviz, which is one of the world’s leading cricket analytics company to prepare this list of players.
Jo Harman, Wisden Cricket Monthly magazine editor, said, “CricViz’s ‘Match Impact’ model which sheds new light on a player’s contribution found Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to be Test cricket’s most valuable player of the 21st century so far. Raw numbers alone speak to Murali’s brilliance, but the CricViz model allows us to delve deeper, revealing his unrivaled impact on Test cricket over the last 20 years,”
Freddie Wilde, the CricViz analyst, explained, “Murali and Glenn McGrath stand out as the two most impactful bowlers in this analysis by a distance. In this investigation, we are analyzing the impact of players, not judging who is best, and as a spinner who bowled marathon spells, the Sri Lankan had greater opportunity to dominate Test matches”
This again proves the greatness of this humble player who has been a strong pillar of Sri Lanka Cricket’s success for more than two decades.
You can read the full 18-page MVP feature in issue 33 of Wisden Cricket Monthly, https://pocketmags.com/offer/wisden-cricket-monthly/wcm33mvp1