Sri Lanka's Muralitharan thanks CA - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sri Lanka's Muralitharan thanks CA

By Daniel Brettig 28/10/2007 08:15:42 PM Comments (0)

Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan responded warmly Sunday to the news that Cricket Australia was working harder than ever to weed out the tormenters that have bedevilled his every tour down under since he was no balled for throwing in 1995.

Following a promising, rust removal spell of 1-87 from 30 overs against the CA Chairman's XI at Adelaide Oval - his first match bowling since August - Muralitharan spoke candidly about his strained relationship with Australian crowds.

He said it was no easy thing to perform at his best with so many spectators doing their best to distract him and he had been a target for bottle throwing during the World XI versus Australia Super Series Test at the SCG in October 2005.

However Muralitharan did say he had never been the subject of overt racial abuse on any of his visits to Australia and thanked Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds for asking crowds to be fairer with him this time around.

"It was difficult, it is not as easy as what you think and now I've got used to it more and more because when I started it was difficult, and now .... just think about the bowling and the opposition and you keep on bowling," Muralitharan said.

"I'd like to thank them for saying that because even Andrew Symonds is a very good friend of mine and he would've felt very bad whatever happened in India.

"Those things should not happen, because if there are the match referee and the umpires they will look after the laws, people should go and have fun.

"People can say some things and go off, rather than making personal remarks, it's not there, so I think good they came and said it, because in Sri Lanka they won't have a problem with that.

"I haven't been racially abused, rather than saying no ball or the filth or something, no-one has racially abused me."

Asked about CA's "detect and eject" policy on targeting poor spectator behaviour, Muralitharan agreed it was for the best.

"Yeah because that's not good," he said.

"You come to see a cricket match, you enjoy the fours and sixes and wickets and runs .. enjoy yourself."

Muralitharan's view of Australia is naturally coloured by past experiences.

In 1995, aged 23 and a first time visitor, Muralitharan was first flayed to all parts of the WACA by double centurion Michael Slater to return figures of 2-224 in the first Test of a spiteful series Australia would win 3-0.

Next came Boxing Day and the fateful decision by Darrell Hair to call Muralitharan for throwing in front of more than 50,000 spectators and a huge television audience.

Hair's fellow umpire Ross Emerson was to do the same - even when Muralitharan reverted to bowling innocuous leg breaks - in limited overs games at the Gabba in 1996 and again at Adelaide Oval in 1999, as part of an ill-tempered contest between Sri Lanka and England.

The last instance caused Muralitharan's incensed captain Arjuna Ranatunga to take his team to the boundary edge and discuss the matter with the Sri Lankan board via mobile phone.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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