Keep bowling Murali
MUTTIAH Muralitharan became the first
ever cricketer in the world to capture one thousand (1000) Test and one
day wickets last week. A world record. He achieved this rare fete during
his hundredth test match, played between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka last
Murali, the lad who played cricket for St. Anthony's College Kandy,
has come a long way.
He has been the rallying point of Sri Lankan cricket for many years.
In fact he brought the nation together in 1995 with his former skipper
Arjuna Ranatunga who stood by him when the 'mad' Darrel Hair no balled
him several times in Australia.
Many Sri Lankans who were not interested in cricket became suddenly
interested in the game thereafter.
They saw it as an insult to the whole nation. Sri Lankans and the
sporting fraternity in the world saw a conspiracy brewing against
Muralitharan in the cricketing world.
It was definitely hatched by the people who saw Muralitharan as a
future threat. They were people who did not know how to play the
gentleman's game. They wanted to deny Murali to the cricketing world.
It was also a shame that Australian Prime Minister John Howard chose
to put his foot in the mouth and insult the cricketer. Murali who was
very hurt and felt insulted later showed Howard that he was a better
gentleman and a sportsman when he met Howard during a tsunami charity
match in Australia.
Murali undoubtedly is a threat to his opponents but a pride for Sri
Lanka and those who love the game of cricket. No wonder former
Australian captain Steve Waugh describes Murali as the "David
Copperfield of Cricket" in his latest book. Waugh says the ultimate test
for any batsman in the world is to take on Murali.
Murali's cricketing life has not been like a dream wicket at Lords.
He had been insulted, harassed and shouted at. Some of the world's so
called sportswriters and commentators had been unleashed behind Murali
by the so called Lords of cricket.
Due to various allegations Murali had to undergo many tests to prove
to his opponents that his bowling action was correct and he captured
their wickets and made hell for them at the crease by bowling right.
But, he will also remember that those little children who addressed
him as 'Murali Aiya' looks up to him and love him and Sri Lanka stood by
him all the time.
Muttiah Muralitharan is not only a cricketer. He is a remarkably
generous guy. He began doing charity five years ago with the 'Foundation
of Goodness' which later became Muralitharan, Vass, Gunasekara
Since then this genius of a cricketer continues to campaign all over
the world to harness support through his cricketing contacts to help a
village down South and to build a rural community model in Seenigama.
He had already roped in cricketing greats such as Shane Warne, Steve
Waugh, Ian Botham and Kapil Dev to help the Sri Lankan village which was
also affected by the tsunami.
We say to our thousand wicket taker, Murali, who had come this far,
such a long journey, not to be tormented by the Australians or any other
opponents. Yes. They would try to throw you out of the game before you
retire. Murali you must look at the positive side. You must become even
stronger. You must take the battle to the Aussies and to the cricketing
grounds of the world. You must go on.
Keep bowling Murali. The wicket is all yours.