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Feb 09, 2011 at 08:22pm IST

Muralitharan to join Gloucestershire

LONDON: Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan has been signed by English county side Gloucestershire as their overseas player for two Friends Provident Twenty20 Cup seasons.

The 38-year-old will join the domestic side after representing Sri Lanka in the upcoming World Cup and Kochi team in the Indian Premier League, the Skysports reported.

Murali will retire from all forms of international cricket after the World Cup.

Muralitharan signs for Gloucestershire

The Lankan off-spinner joins the English County side for two seasons.

"I am really looking forward to playing for Gloucestershire. It is a young and exciting team and I hope I can add some experience to the mix. The last time I played at Bristol I took five wickets and I look forward to an exciting T20 competition with the Gladiators," Murali told the county's official site.

Muralitharan retired from Test cricket last summer, signing off by becoming the first bowler to take 800 wickets in this this format, in his 133rd match.

He had earlier played as an overseas player, for Lancashire between 1999 and 2007, besides spending a summer with Kent in 2003.

Gloucestershire director of cricket, John Bracewell, hailed the signing of Murali as a huge boost for the club.

"This is an exciting and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work and play with one of the greatest cricketers in the history of the game. Whenever I have watched and observed Murali he has always had and shown an infectious love for the game of cricket. This is something that I personally am looking forward to working with," Bracewell said.

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