‘Mahela’ wanted me for World T20- Murali
Retired bowling world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan has revealed that Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene had invited him to come back from retirement to join the Sri Lanka squad for the forthcoming ICC World T20 tournament to be hosted by Sri Lanka.
Murali said this in an interview with an Indian newspaper this week when he was asked if he were secretly wishing he was playing in front of the home crowd at the ICC World T20. Murali said he felt it was selfish to deny the youngsters a chance though the Sri Lanka captain may have believed otherwise.
“Mahela (Jayawardene) had asked me, but for me, if you're retired, you've retired. Youngsters pin their hopes on these tournaments to shine. I don't play domestic cricket anymore. So, it will be selfish on my part to go and play. I don't want to spoil the image I have by going back to international cricket. I have the memories and a satisfying end to my career. What else could I ask for?” said Murali.
The spin wizard also felt that Sri Lankan public are too poor to afford so much cricket action resulting in the disappointing attendance for the Sri Lanka Premier League, and felt fans were keeping their money to watch the ICC World T20 instead.
“The IPL is strong, but the SLPL has had a good start. We have good players participating here. The only disappointment is that there hasn't been much of a crowd. With the World T20 starting soon after the league, the fans are probably saving money for those matches. Sri Lanka is not a big moneyed country. People can't afford to pay for the SLPL as well as the World T20” Murali said. Murali said his preparation for the SLPL was not the best, but revealed he still keeps strict training regime. “SLPL happened suddenly. So I trained at Gloucestershire for a while to be able to play here. But for the IPL, I was prepared. If Royal Challengers Bangalore retain me for the next year, I will go to Australia to train. I've been playing less since retirement. One needs to keep the motivation level high to be able to get the form back. I'm 40 years old! (smiles)”