Simply bowled over
MUTHIAH MURALIDHARAN is going to be visiting Chennai quite often in the future. The master spinner, just 29 years old, has already gone past the magic 400 wicket mark in test cricket. Muralidharan will soon coach young Chennai spinners once a month at the city-based MAC Spin Foundation and this assignment would bring him here once a month, depending on his national and county duties.
MetroPlus caught up with Muthiah Muralidharan at a pleasant and informal function at the Gandhinagar Club, Adyar. Muralidharan freewheeled away, relaxing on the lawns of the club where he was made Special Invitation Member last week. It was a surprise for the club members to find the celebrity in their midst.
Murali smilingly handled a barrage of questions and ranked Tendulkar and Lara as the best batsmen he has ever bowled to. He also tipped Warne and McGrath to cross 500 wickets soon. On a personal note, he said he would be getting married only after 2003 World Cup and one could see the steely glint in his eyes as Sri Lanka has a tilt at the coveted world title again.
He also showed some curious members his fully outstretched right arm for them to get a first-hand view of the natural bend which provides fodder for the much-discussed bowling action of his.
Murali missed taking that last wicket which would have given him 10 wickets for 51 runs last month. Curiously it was umpire Venkatraghavan (Adyar based) who turned down a confident LBW appeal in Murali's last over, the same over that a catch was dropped. Jim Laker holds the world record (10 for 53 followed by Anil Kumble (10 for 74). Asked about his feelings during that fateful last over Muralidharan said, there would be other opportunities.
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