Sri Lankan board lodges complaint against Muttiah Muralitharan for unruly behaviour
The Sri Lankan cricket board has lodged a complaint against legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for what they believe was his unacceptable behaviour with the groundsmen. He has also been reportedly charged for allegedly confronting and abusing Sri Lankan team manager Charith Senanayake. Muralitharan violated the time stipulation and got his players to practice on the ground in Colombo according to reports.
Sri Lankan board president Thilanga Sumathipala quoted “Muralitharan's behaviour is unacceptable and we have brought this to the notice of the Australian team management.” According to Sumathipala, Muralitharan forced the groundsmen to allow the Australian players to practice on the field when it was not allowed.
He said, “He rode roughshod over the groundsmen and got his (Australian) players to practise in violation of the time stipulations. He later confronted our team manager (Senanayake) and abused him.”
The highest wicket taker in Tests and ODIs was recently roped in as the Australian team’s bowling consultant. He is the second Sri Lankan cricketer to work with Australia after batsman Thilan Samaraweera, who is currently coaching at a national cricket academy in Brisbane.
Muttiah Muralitharan had earlier taken to social media in order to defend his decision to take up the role of Australia’s bowling consultant. He had said, “I am doing a professional job. I am not a traitor. Sri Lanka has not tried to make use of my services, so I am helping the Australians who value my contributions.”
Although Charith Senanayake did not comment on the issue, a source close to the Sri Lankan team confirmed that words were exchanged between him and the iconic cricketer at the Pallekele Stadium.
Thilanga Sumathipala also voiced his opinion on Muralitharan signing up as the Aussie bowling consultant by citing that he is serving the same country which tried to destroy his career in the past. The Sri Lankan board president was referring to an incident in 2004 when Murali had been dubbed as a “chucker” by former Australian prime minister John Howard.
He said “Professionally it is okay for Murali to coach any foreign team, but the irony is that he is supporting Australia which tried to get him out of cricket. He is creating long-term damage for himself among his fans”.
It would be interesting to see how the Australian team reacts in response to the complaint made against their new bowling consultant.