Tour plea to Murali

Former Sri Lankan coach and Australian spinner Bruce Yardley will this week make a
personal plea to champion spinner Muthiah Muralidaran to tour Australia this winter.

Yardley, who coached Sri Lanka in the mid-1990s and is in Dambulla doing commentary
work, will meet his one-time protege this week to try to convince him to make the
two-Test tour of Darwin and Cairns in July.

Muralidaran last week revealed he had reservations about touring Australia where hostile
crowds have abused him.

“I will try to talk him into coming to prove he can take wickets in Australia and
be stronger mentally and not let the average Aussie try to break him down,” said Yardley,
who took 126 wickets in 33 Tests.

“I really hope the Aussie crowds get behind him, because he is a wonderful young man
and a sensational cricket talent.”

Though Muralidaran’s action has been the subject of enormous scrutiny and conjecture,
Yardley is adamant it is not beyond the limits of the law, which decrees his bowling
arm can not be straightened more than than 10 per cent in the act of delivering the
ball.

Yardley befriended Muralidaran in 1991 and was at his side in the challenging early
years of his international career when his action was constantly being reported to
the International Cricket Council.

“He has asked me to come and have a few sessions with him,” Yardley said. “He and
I are very close because I saw him through this. I have always believed in him.

“Back then I said to him, if they no-ball him out of the game, bowl leg-breaks and
googlies. He does that just as well.”

Yardley yesterday had his first live sighting of Muralidaran’s mysterious “doosra”
— the delivery that breaks away from the right-handed batsmen — and declared it
“sensational . . . absolute magic”.

Yardley could understand why Australia batted cautiously against Muralidaran in the
first one-day clash, in which he took 2-30 from 10 overs, but believes more aggression
would be timely in tonight’s second match at the Dambulla International Stadium.

“If I was the Aussies, I would take a risk and go the other way the next game and
charge at him, try to get him on the full and smash him,” he said.

By
ROBERT CRADDOCK
in Dambulla

Tour plea to Murali
  • Dammika

    This is a silly issue. I am surprised that Muralitheran taking this kind of silly decision (self petty). Come-on!! He is playing competitive cricket for long time now, so he should be mentally tough (unless he him self not sure about his bowling action). After all Sri Lankan Cricket boar sacrifice 100s of fast bowlers feature by preparing spinning wickets all these years specially for this guy, finally he turnout to be a cry baby!! Silly no?

  • Saying that the Cricket Board sacrificed fast bowlers by preparing spinning wickets especially for this Murali is false.
    Murali is one who can spin on any wicket, actually we should have fast pitches that way Murali will be the only spin bowler who has the edge. See what happened in the previous matches two it was the Autralian ‘spin’ bowlers who ended up with 5 wicket hauls in both matches.
    Having spinning wickets takes away Murali’s edge, since the other spinners can also now spin. If the cricket board really wants to give Murali the edge then they should only make fast tracks.
    The reason why we have spinning wickets is to protect our batsmen who don’t know how to face fast-bowlers except for the few technical guys like Marvan and Mahela.
    As for Murali not going to Australia that is his personally his decision, but if he puts country before self then he should tour.

  • Dammika

    If not going to Australia is a personal issue, he shouldn’t make any silly comments.

    Sorry about the misunderstanding…. I didn’t know that we prepare slow wickets to protect our batsmen. I’ll withdraw my comment (silly no?).

    I wonder what happen to Sri Lankan cricket if this guy gets injured, retired …..