Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Board has invited their former off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for the prize distribution ceremony after the completion of the third and final Test against Australia.
This was revealed by the president Thilanga Sumathipala. Speaking exclusively over his mobile from Colombo, he said, “I have asked the secretary Mohan de Silva to invite Murali to give away the awards on the last day of the final Test match”. The dead-rubber Test will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Ground in Colombo from August 13 and 17. “Murali is welcome to witness the entire Test or at least we want him to remain present on the last day of the match on August 17 or on the day, if the Test finishes early”, he added.
The Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia is played for Warne-Murali Trophy since the last 10 years. The trophy features the two bowlers’ right hands and matchused cricket balls bowled by them during their long cricketing careers.
Later, speaking exclusively again, the secretary Mohan de Silva said, “the letter to Murali is being sent today (Monday)”.
“We don’t have a regular practice to invite former players to watch the matches.
However, if the request comes from any player, we do provide him the complimentary passes. So far, we have not received any such request from Muralitharan”.
It will be interesting to see how the world’s highest Test wicket taker Murali would respond to the invitation. The 44-year-old ex-spinner was in the news when he had undertaken the coaching role for the visiting Australian team before the commencement of the series. “My husband remains very busy in his business (Cane Manufacturing) and has not gone to watch the matches since he retired from Test cricket”, Murali’s Indian-wife, Madhi, said to this reporter recently.
“Shane Warne, the other player of the trophy, is not be coming for the final Test”, confirmed the secretary. “We have not received any such request either from Warne or from the Cricket Australia (CA) and we presume Warne would not be arriving”, he signed off. (Bipini Dani)