Muttiah Muralidaran is arguably the greatest off-spinner of all times and his record of 800 Test wickets, the highest by a bowler will remain unbroken for centuries. Since his international retirement, Muralidaran has been involved in humanitarian work through the Foundation of Goodness, an NGO.
"In 1995, I was called for throwing and we fought hard to put a system in place where bowlers with suspected bowling action could go through a testing process. So we managed to get this done and there are accredited labs that test players who are found to have a suspected action."
He also stood firm in the face of International conspiracies against the country. He defended the government against the allegations of human rights violations during the final phase of the war. This is considered a possible reason behind his name being dragged into politics. In an interview with Muralidaran says no to politics but will continue to serve people through the Foundation of Goodness, as he has done significantly over the years.
QYour name has been dragged into politics once again with elections around the corner. Is it just a rumour or are you considering a career in politics?
I do not understand why but whenever there’s a sound of elections my name is dragged in. I do not know why but may be they are trying to take advantage by using my name. I will never get into politics because I do not like it and I have no desire for governance and I do not think you need to get into politics to serve people. I have been doing a significant amount of work through the Foundation of Goodness, a Non Profit Organization to communities in the North and South. This is what I love and I am happy. I am a Sri Lankan. I do not indentify myself as a Tamil or a Hindu, but a true Sri Lankan who loves this country. This is why I defended the government when the issue of Human Rights came up, not because I have any alliance with the government. All I can say is, I have no intention of getting into politics and I myself am baffled by these remours.
"Those found guilty are given a chance to correct the situation and come back into cricket. There are specific guidelines including the degree of flex of one’s elbow during the bowling."
Q It’s not strange that a cricketer should come into politics especially in this part of the world. Don’t you think you can serve the country and your community in politics, specially the Tamil community in the Upcountry better?
I do not think so. Politics and social work are two different things. In politics you get involved in governing which I am not interested in. I like to help people and will continue the way I am doing it.
QHas there been any invitation from any party for you to enter politics?
No. I have been very closely associating with politicians from all parties but there has never ever been any request for me to join. Even if there’s I will not join.
QThe ICC slapped a ban on spinner Sachithra Senanayake after laboratory tests found him exceeding the permitted elbow extension level of 15 degrees. As a player who went through a similar incident early in your career, what action should Senanayake take to make a speedy comeback?
In 1995, I was called for throwing and we fought hard to put a system in place where bowlers with suspected bowling action could go through a testing process. So we managed to get this done and there are accredited labs that test players who are found to have a suspected action. Those found guilty are given a chance to correct the situation and come back into cricket. There are specific guidelines including the degree of flex of one’s elbow during the bowling.
In this scenario, Sachithra should work with the expert coaches and correct his action. But it depends a lot on him. How fast he changes his action to be within the legal limit will decide his return to international cricket.
Q Since you retired from Test cricket, spinner Rangana Herath has been spearheading the spin attack almost single handedly but it seems that there’s no successor to replace Herath who is nearing the end of his career. Do you think this is a serious issue for Sri Lanka?
I do not think so. Cricketers come and go but the game goes on. There are several young players in our ranks with experience. I am sure they will do well for Sri Lanka.
"No. I cannot commit myself for a full time career. I do a bit of coaching here and there but not fulltime due to my commitments."
Q How do you look at your coaching stint with Australia, a country that has given you enough trouble in your career?
It’s just a short programme where they need me to help them prepare for the Test series against Pakistan.
QWould you consider a full time career in coaching?
No. I cannot commit myself for a full time career. I do a bit of coaching here and there but not fulltime due to my commitments. I do help local cricketers at the Kettarama Academy whenever possible free of charge. I got lots of work to do with my foundation which Kushil Gunasekera has been spearheading for many years, in addition to my business interests.
Comments - 1
Hari Dakuma Thursday, 17 July 2014 06:13 PM
Great man. Good Luck to Murali in whatever he does.
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