Last Updated : 2019-07-19 23:34:00

If SL loses, they will say it is because of me: Murali

25 July 2016 11:17 pm - 25     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka’s record-breaking spinner Muttiah Muralitharan launched a blistering attack Monday on his former bosses after they complained about his behaviour in his new role as a mentor to Australia.

After his former employers said Muralitharan was damaging his legacy, the 44-year-old accused Sri Lanka’s board of setting him up as a fall guy if the hosts lose a series to the visiting Australians.

And Muralitharan, the highest wicket-taker in Test history, then accused the board president of knowing nothing about cricket and angrily denounced any suggestion of being “a traitor”.  

“If Sri Lanka loses, they (the board) will say it is because of Murali,” he said in a recorded statement which was sent to AFP.  

“They have no right to accuse me of being a traitor. Have they done one hundredth of what I have contributed to cricket in Sri Lanka?  This is a political game to cover their shortcomings,” he added. “I am being used as a pawn to cover their failings.”

His outburst was sparked by a complaint by the board that he had bullied groundsmen into letting the Australians practise on the pitch which hosts the opening match in a three-Test series from Tuesday.  
Cricket Australia confirmed they received a complaint about the incident at Pallekele Stadium, on the outskirts of Kandy, but said the issue had been resolved “after discussions between the two management teams”.  

Muralitharan is a hero in Sri Lanka after taking 800 Test wickets before retiring six years ago.  

But his decision to impart his local knowledge to the tourists has raised eyebrows, not least because he was once labelled a “chucker” by Australia’s then-prime minister John Howard.

Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews was more conciliatory, acknowledging his former teammate’s expertise.  

“The Australians obviously saw value in his knowledge of Sri Lankan conditions,” Mathews told reporters.  

In his video statement, Muralitharan said he had not received any approach from the Sri Lankan board to help the island’s next generation of spinners and accused it of favouring foreign coaches over locals.  

“They don’t give an opportunity to talented Sri Lankan coaches and prefer to bring white people from abroad,” he said.  

“That affects our economy too because we have to pay them dollars that leave the country. That is treachery.”

Sri Lanka has a history of employing foreign coaches and re-hired South Africa’s Graham Ford earlier this year for a second stint.

  Comments - 25

  • M.M.M.Zarook Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:09 PM

    Murali should have avoided using the words "white people". SLC is no exception in preferring everything "Foreign". But Murali should have spoken about his misgivings earlier. Until now we were not at all aware of Murali's charges against the SLC.

    waruna Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:18 AM

    What ever said and done, I think Murali has done a wrong this. This series is named as Murali-Warne trophy. I would never imagine Warne coaching Sri Lanka during a series like this.

    Coconut Republic Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:30 AM

    Truly superb politics! You just do the right things. That's it!

    Love Sri Lanka Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:49 AM

    Murali has the freedom to coach anyone. However the country that once called him CHUCKING is hiring him to coach their team when they play against us. This is the dilemma. Murali has NO sincere affection towards our country NOW.

    Patriot Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:50 AM

    Dont worry. Real Sri lankans are with you. Those who betrayed the country in the UN has no right to speak about a legend like you.

    IVJ Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:50 AM

    Good response Murali. Our country MUST delink politics from every sport body. Handful of these politicians have their brains in the lower part of their body!

    Sanjo Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:35 PM

    Murali you don't need to explain. We will always be with you for the things you have done for sri lankan cricket. Is it only politicians can change sides eh?

    Liberal One Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:52 AM

    This is simple. If you really value Murali appoint him as the spin bowling coach. If you think the skin color is important for this position let murali coach whoever wants his service.

    Rhonda Taylor Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:44 PM

    Its your life Murali - you decide what you want and what you do not want - don't let Politicians have the better of you. It is good for Sri Lanka to hire foreign coaches but not their own. The entire Cricket Board is held bent in making money and I guess you can live your life to your desire.Bugger these Politicians - they are only users

    Dilshan Tuesday, 26 July 2016 01:18 AM

    Thilanga Sumathipala probably upset that he did not get to make money off Muttiah Muralitharans move.Just like he was harassing Lasith Malinga sometime back.He behaves like he owns all Sri Lankan Cricketers like slaves!

    Channa Tuesday, 26 July 2016 01:19 AM

    We are so grateful to you. Now we have a reason to lose. Thanks Murali.

    Frederick Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:55 PM

    Washing dirty linen in public.I don't think the Aussies would do this to their heroes, people who have performed for their country As a result they are forced to defend themselves in public.Shame!

    Silva Tuesday, 26 July 2016 02:34 AM

    You are a true son of the soil Murali. The cricket loving public of Sri Lanka will always love and admire you. It's the cricket administrators who are stirring-up these unnecessary controversis, The less spoken about Sri Lanka Cricket administrators... The better it is.

    Ram Tuesday, 26 July 2016 02:40 AM

    Murali may have a point, but he should have avoided this series particularly because the two teams fight for Warne Murali trophy. If his name wasn't in the trophy he is perfectly right. SLC avoid engaging local experts and see how they dumped vass?

    Aquarius Tuesday, 26 July 2016 02:40 AM

    Murali, don't waste your energy trying to put sense on the SLC and specially the political President. He bats and bowls googlies to cover corruption and all his unlawful gains. We salute you for all you have done for cricket and your humanitarian work in Sri Lanka. Sumathipala and his stooges at SLC will never appreciate Sri lankan heros and you are not the first and the last. Their mentality will keep us where we are as a sporting nation.

    well said Mura Tuesday, 26 July 2016 03:51 AM

    Well said Murali. Don't let SLC bully you. You have done a lot for SL cricket. At least you will be dealing with professionals not a bunch of cowboys. Well said about SL still having a weakness for the fairer skin and overlooking great local talent.

    Manel Tuesday, 26 July 2016 03:55 AM

    Murali is entitled to his views and Sri Lankan cricket fans will be disappointed if SL loses matches against Aussies. However Murali should not have racially profiled foreign coaches calling them "white people". We normally are a hospitable nation and our cricket team has the reputation of being well behaved on and off the field. Besides, Mahela was hired by Englishmen recently and nobody called him a "brown man". We should be more tolerant in this day and age.

    WTF Tuesday, 26 July 2016 05:15 AM

    Murali, the majority of Sri Lankans fully support you except!

    siva Tuesday, 26 July 2016 05:37 AM

    They don't afford an opportunity talented Sri Lankan coaches and prefer to bring in white people from abroad. So the whites from Australia hire the black from Sri Lanka.

    Ruwan fernando Tuesday, 26 July 2016 05:45 AM

    Im_with_Murali via DM iOS App

    Sharon Tuesday, 26 July 2016 05:56 AM

    We are with you Murali. Go ahead and perform your job well as a professional Cricketer. All the best buddy via DM iOS App

    The Godfater Tuesday, 26 July 2016 11:12 AM

    Finally Murali qualifies to be a Politician.

    Selvyn Tuesday, 26 July 2016 11:19 AM

    Thilanga has no justification at all to fire at Mural while ignoring a valued national asset. via DM Android App

    TONY Tuesday, 26 July 2016 11:49 AM

    SLC DOES NOT KNOW THE WEALTH OF PRESENT AND PAST CRICKETERS AT HOME. WHEN OUR TALENTED AND ABLE PAST CRICKETERS ARE HIRED BY OTHER COUNTRIES THEY CRY FOWL. WE HAVE TO GET PROPER ADMINISTRATORS TO SLC TO MAXIMIZE THE BENEFITS

    TONY Tuesday, 26 July 2016 11:51 AM

    MURALI CONCENTRATE IN YOUR PROFESSION. DO BE BOTHERED BY COMMENTS MADE BY UNPROFESSIONALS


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