World record holder Muttiah Muralitharan became the only Sri Lankan among 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.
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).
ICC offered the fans the opportunity to name the match they thought was the best ever ODI played in history from among ten matches.
The match they chose was a run-fest in Johannesburg's famous Wanderers Stadium in March 2006. Batting first, Australia made a record 434-4 in 50 overs with captain Ricky Ponting setting the day alight with 164 off just 105 balls.
The mood of the capacity crowd did not improve when SA lost a wicket with just three runs on the board. But then an innings of magic from Herschelle Gibbs (175 off 111) backed up by cameos by Graeme Smith (90 off 55), Mark Boucher (50 not out) and Johan van der Wath (35) saw the Proteas to a scarcely possible winning score of 438 with nine wickets down and one ball remaining. It was a wonderful occasion and truly an ODI never to be forgotten.
The first ever ODI was played between Australia and England on 5 January 1971 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The 40th anniversary of the ODI is being marked in the build-up to cricket's flagship event, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, which begins in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 19 February.
The following is the short-list from which voters chose their favourites:
Greatest ODI team of all time
Opening batsmen (2) - Saeed Anwar, Sourav Ganguly, Gordon Greenidge, Matthew Hayden, Sanath Jayasuriya, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Glenn Turner
Middle-order batsmen (3) - Michael Bevan, Martin Crowe, Aravinda de Silva, Inzamam-ul Haq, Brian Lara, Javed Miandad, Ricky Ponting, Viv Richards
All-rounder (1) - Ian Botham, Kapil Dev, Andrew Flintoff, Richard Hadlee, Jacques Kallis, Imran Khan, Lance Klusener, Shaun Pollock
Wicket-keeper (1) - Mark Boucher, MS Dhoni, Andy Flower Adam Gilchrist, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Moin Khan, Alec Stewart, Kumar Sangakkara,
Fast bowlers (3) - Wasim Akram, Allan Donald, Joel Garner, Michael Holding, Dennis Lillee, Glenn McGrath, Chaminda Vaas, Waqar Younis
Spinner (1) - Shahid Afridi, Carl Hooper, Anil Kumble, Muttiah Muralidaran, Saqlain Mushtaq, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Warne, Daniel Vettori
Shortlist of Greatest ODI match of all-time
* West Indies beat Australia by 17 runs at Lord's, 21 June 1975
* India beat West Indies by 43 runs at Lord's, 25 June 1983
* Pakistan beat India won by one-wicket at Sharjah, 18 April 1986
* England won by three wickets against Australia at Sydney, 22 January 1987
* Australia won by one-wicket against West Indies at Sydney, 12 January 1996
* Australia tied with South Africa at Edgbaston, 17 June 1999
* Pakistan tied with Sri Lanka, at Sharjah, 15 October 1999
* India beat Pakistan by five runs at Karachi, 13 March 2004
* Bangladesh beat Australia by five wickets at Cardiff, 18 June 2005
* South Africa beat Australia by one-wicket at Johannesburg, 12 March 2006
source : dailymirror.lk