World record holder Muttiah Muralitharan became the only Sri Lankan in the Greatest All-time One Day International Team chosen by cricket fans around the globe in a vote conducted by the International Cricket Council to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the first ever One-Day International.
Murali was chosen as the only spinner in the team ahead of Australia’s legendary leg spinner Shane Warne by cricket fans from almost 100 countries around the world who cast their votes on the ICC website for what they consider to be the all-time ODI team.
He bade farewell to Test cricket last July after taking a record 800 wickets but will be playing for Sri Lanka in the upcoming World Cup tournament.
Altogether six Sri Lankans Aravinda de Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Chaminda Vaas and Kumar Sangakkara apart from Murali had been shortlisted by the ICC to receive votes for the final XI.
ICC announced that, in total, fans from 97 countries cast almost 600,000 votes on www.icc-cricket.com between 22 December and 2 January to make their views known as to who have been the best ODI players of the past 40 years in the key categories of opening batsmen, middle-order batsmen, wicketkeeper, spin bowlers and fast bowlers.
Three players from Australia and India, two from the West Indies and one each from South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have made the final dream 11 with another Aussie named as 12th man while the momentous "438" game between South Africa and Australia in Johannesburg in 2006 has been voted the best ODI yet.
The final eleven players were chosen from a shortlist of 48 players named by the ICC.
The All-Time ODI Dream Team
Opening batsmen: Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag (both Ind)
Middle order: Brian Lara, Viv Richards (both WI) and Ricky Ponting (Aus)
All-rounder: Kapil Dev (Ind)
Wicketkeeper: Adam Gilchrist (Aus)
Spinner: Muttiah Muralidaran (SL)
Fast bowlers: Wasim Akram (Pak), Glenn McGrath (Aus) and Allan Donald (SA)
12th man: Michael Bevan (Aus)