Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitheran has announced today that he will retire early from international Test cricket after the first match of the current home series against India, primarily because nobody can pronounce his name correctly.
Muralathoron, 38, played his first Test at the age of 6, and immediately caused a controversy due to suspicions over the authenticity of his name, which was claimed by some to be Muralthitharat. Others were positive it was Muralatheran, a version corroborated by his school friends, who called him 'Muralathera' for short.
Even this however, is now being disputed after the Sri Lankan Office of Births, Marriages and Deaths recently said they had unearthed the star's birth certificate on which he is named clearly as Albert Smith.
Muli, himself, beamed insanely, as he told us:
"I've been called evrything you can imagine, but nobody ever gets it right. I've had Morolitheran, Muralitherati, Muthersucker, Mutherchucker, even Mulan, but nobody has ever said it right. Indeed, nowadays, I'm not sure that even I can remember what the correct version is, and that's when you know it's time to pack it all in."
Sri Lanka Cricket Gazette's Mottiah Murtalatherantheran laughed as he told us:
"It seems that 'Muli' has been 'bowling us a googly' all of his life, and that he chose a name that would make him stand out from the crowd!"