Muttiah Muralitharan finished his career with a stunning 1,347 wickets from 495 matches, being the leading wicket-taker in ODI and T20I cricket even after nine years since his retirement. His tally of 77 five-wicket hauls and 22 10-fers is double than that of Shane Warne, who finished with 1,001 wickets for Australia. But in his career for Sri Lanka, Muralitharan had to go through tough times.
He was being reported several times for having a suspect action. It’s something he had an intuition about from his early days. Hence, as an escape route, he had learned the art of leg-spin in case bowling off-spin landed him in hot waters. The 48-year-old reckons that failures in sports are inevitable and one needs to draw the positive aspects out of them.
You can’t just stick to one plan: Muttiah Muralitharan
“I used to bowl leg spin also when I was young, so I thought in case I went for tests on my action and then it doesn’t work, I’d become a leg spinner,” Muralitharan was quoted as saying on the Mind Masters Show by MFORE on Star Sports Tamil.
“As for everything, even when you play cricket you should have plan A & plan B. You can’t just stick to one plan. Same with any sport. Any day you can face a failure in your life or sport, failure is guaranteed, you will need to think about it and take it positively and move on saying tomorrow is another day,” he added.
Back in 1995, umpire Darren Hair called no-ball off his bowling as many as seven times after which the tweaker was reported for a suspect action. Then again in 1998, he was called in by umpire Ross Emerson during an ODI at the Adelaide Oval. Yet another time in 2004, Murali was being reported.
Chris Broad, the match referee, said that the action, which Murali used to bowl the ‘Doosra’ wasn’t legitimate. The Kandy-born has also put forth the importance of the mental aspects of the game in soaking the extreme pressure. Murali feels that having a good technique doesn’t guarantee success if one can’t deal with the mental hassles of the sport.
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