KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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After the announcement of Kevin Pietersen, Brett Lee and Muttiah Muralitharan as participants of the MCC v Rest of the World game at Lord's on Saturday 5 July, Lords.org profiles the careers of the three players.
Kevin Pietersen burst onto the international scene with a flourish - scoring three centuries in an astonishing debut ODI series in 2004 against South Africa, the land of his birth.
This exceptional limited overs form was enough to earn Pietersen a place in England’s 2005 Ashes side, and he did not disappoint, with a series-clinching 158 at the Oval leading England to a famous 2-1 victory.
The following year saw his first Test century at Lord’s, making 158 against Sri Lanka - the first of five he made at the Ground. Hundreds against the West Indies and India in 2007, and South Africa in 2008 were followed by Pietersen’s highest score at Lord’s of 202* against India in 2011, cementing his love affair with the Home of Cricket.
2010 saw Pietersen’s finest moment in limited overs cricket as he led England to the ICC World T20 title in the Caribbean, being named man of the tournament with 248 runs at an average of 62.
In 2013 he became England’s highest run-scorer in all forms of the game, and also played his part in the victorious Ashes side - the fourth time that he lifted the Urn.
Highlights: Pietersen's 202* against India in 2011
Australian bowler Brett Lee made his name as part of Australia’s fearsome, all-conquering side during the 2000s, and is the fourth highest Australian Test wicket-taker of all time.
Making his international bow in December 1999, Lee joined Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Jason Gillespie to make up one of Test cricket’s greatest attacks, combining great speed and outswing with an aggression that made him a nightmare to face for any batsman.
As well as his 310 wickets in 76 Tests, Lee was menacing in ODIs too, playing a large part in Australia’s ICC World Cup victory in 2003, with 22 wickets in the tournament. Lee also became the first Australian to take a World Cup hat-trick, with three wickets in three balls against Kenya.
He also took another World Cup hat-trick - the first in T20 internationals - against Bangladesh in the 2007 ICC World T20.
While injuries forced Lee to retire from internationals in 2012, he still regularly plays T20 cricket in the IPL and Big Bash League.
Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has more international wickets than any bowler in the history of cricket.
Making his Test debut in 1992, Murali wasted no time in asserting himself on the world cricket scene, becoming the first Sri Lankan to 100 Test wickets, which he achieved in 1997. The year before, however, came Sri Lanka’s finest cricketing hour, as they beat Australia to lift the 1996 ICC World Cup - Murali taking 1/31 in the final.
The wickets continued for Murali, all around the world, and he overtook West Indies' Courtney Walsh’s record of 519 Test wickets in 2004, finally finishing with an astonishing 800 victims. Aptly, his final ball in Test cricket was a wicket, Pragyan Ojha becoming his 800th victim.
Murali’s Sri Lankan swan song came as he led his nation to the 2011 ICC World Cup final, the third final he played in, and while he was unable to inspire Sri Lanka to victory, he is certainly the greatest Sri Lankan cricketer of all time.
Murali recently skippered MCC in a T20 tournament in the UAE. His side, which included England's Monty Panesar and Samit Patel, came runners up to Sussex in the final.