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Decision has robbed IPL of its sheen:Murali

31 March 2013 02:10 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Star cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan said that the decision not to allow Sri Lankan players to play in Chennai during the Indian Premier League (IPL) has robbed the IPL of some of its sheen.

His wife Madhi is a Chennai girl, and the city is like a second home for him. And this makes the world's greatest off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan all the more disappointed that Sri Lankan players won't be allowed to play in the city during IPL 6. Murali, who plays for Bangalore in the IPL, talks to Boria Majumdar about what this decision means for the players and India-Sri Lanka cricketing ties in the long term.

Given that you are a Tamilian by birth and have a strong Chennai connection, what is your reaction to the decision that you won't be allowed to play there?

It is most unfortunate the sports and politics are getting mixed and Sri Lankan players won't be allowed to tour Chennai as a result. While I say it is disappointing and frustrating I also know that it is a very sensitive issue politically and there are compulsions we players aren't always aware of. For us we have always enjoyed playing in Chennai and hope that we can go back sooner rather than later.

Is there a sense of outrage in Sri Lanka as a result of the decision? Are people thinking of not watching the IPL as a result? People like Arjuna Ranatunga have called on Sri Lankan players to boycott the IPL.

I wouldn't call it a sense of outrage. Rather it's sense of hurt and disappointment. People are very sad, and also somewhat surprised by the turn of events. For us in Sri Lanka, India is a much loved country to visit and we have a lot of friends here. To be told that we are not welcome in a certain Indian city is not a good feeling. I hope this situation changes in the not-too distant future.

Do you think it will impact the IPL as a whole?

Of course it will. Some of the matches will be seriously impacted as a result. Mumbai without Malinga, for example, isn't going to be the same t e a m . T h e same applies for the Daredevils without M a h e l a i n their ranks. For me Chennai is second home. I love the city and love playing at the Chepauk. It is extremely disheartening to know I can't play there. It is a track that offers real help to us spinners and that means some teams will seriously lose out as a result of this decision. From a pure cricketing standpoint the decision has robbed the IPL of some of its sheen.

Do you think this will have a long-term impact on India-Sri Lanka cricket relations and that the camaraderie that exists between the two cricket boards may take a hit as a result of this decision?

Look time is the best healer. I don't think this is a permanent thing. Yes, it is a very serious issue and all of us should respect the political sensitivities in both India and Sri Lanka. Having said that I have no doubt that the cricket boards of India and Sri Lanka will continue to be close and we will soon have a resolution to this issue. I don't think this issue will create a fissure between the cricket boards of the two countries.

But does not allowing a dozen or so Sri Lankan players to play the IPL make any difference to the political situation? Also, why couldn't the political establishment take this decision earlier for it is extremely humiliating for players to be suddenly told that you can't play in Chennai isn't it? And from a cricketing standpoint, team owners wouldn't have banked on Sri Lankan players had they known that something like this could happen?

I agree with you totally. I have said to you at the very start that as a cricketer it is extremely sad and frustrating to be suddenly told that you can't play in a particular city. We are sportspeople and sports we have always been told is above everything. We are performers who entertain people and to be robbed of this opportunity is acutely frustrating. In this case sport has lost out to political expediency and we have no option but to accept the situation at hand. However, I continue to believe that we will soon have a resolution to this problem. (Times of India)
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  Comments - 13

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  • AJ Sunday, 31 March 2013 12:54 PM

    MURALI CHECK YOUR SKIN, YOU CANN T BE A TAMIL, NOT WORRIED ABOUT DEATH TAMILS YOU WORRIED ABOUT YOUR BAT AND YOU CHONCKY HAND

    aloo gobi Sunday, 31 March 2013 01:07 PM

    Go to well stupid demils we dont need your smelling money.

    namal Sunday, 31 March 2013 10:17 AM

    He and Arjuna should start a political party

    RajasH Sunday, 31 March 2013 10:42 AM

    If it's humiliating then all together pull out of IPL as Arjuna suggested.
    You wan your dollars(cake) and eat it.

    meranchi Sunday, 31 March 2013 05:52 AM

    you are genius muraly ...i...

    Aliya Sunday, 31 March 2013 12:00 AM

    This man doesnt deserve a single chance to speak abut tamils, when he couldnt talk back in tamil? Lankan moron via DM Android App

    Dhammaloka Monday, 01 April 2013 02:58 AM

    Stupid comment. Come on.. grow up.

    MagodisThuma Sunday, 31 March 2013 06:38 AM

    One Man Mission !

    gobi Sunday, 31 March 2013 11:30 AM

    No sri Lankan players should allowed to play anywhere in the world until they clear blood in their hands.

    ANTON Sunday, 31 March 2013 07:30 AM

    YOU MEAN WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE, DOES ANY ONE IN CHENNAI LISTEN TO YOU ?

    SudhuGemba Sunday, 31 March 2013 08:16 AM

    Well said from a highly respected cricketer and gentleman!

    Chan Sunday, 31 March 2013 03:21 PM

    Hey,
    This is minority talking.

    Naman Sunday, 31 March 2013 08:36 AM

    SL sporting activities in international arenas should be stopped until there is no suppression of minorities. South Africa was excluded during the Apartheid era.


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