Mahinda Wijesinghe, from the Sunday Island, 31 July 2016, with the title “Congratulations Murali on a Long Overdue Honour”
The majority of lovers of cricket, especially the Sri Lankan supporters, would be thrilled that Muttiah Muralidaran, known the world over as ‘Murali’ has been inducted as the 80th member of the ICC’s Hall of Fame. He is the first Sri Lankan to be thus honoured. Those appointed to this coveted membership are based on the ICC “recognizing the achievements of these legends of the game from cricket’s long history of the game.”
The selection is done by the living members who have been previously inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In the case of Murali’s chequered career, he was first unfairly insulted and vilified by sections of the international – prejudiced – media, including a former Prime Minister of Australia. Now Sri Lanka’s own top cricket administrator has begun to cast aspersions on Murali. Very sad indeed, almost akin to looking up and spitting at a player who can be regarded as the Bradman of bowling and has brought so much honour to Sri Lanka.
Happily, three former Sri Lankan captains, Arjuna Ranatunga, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara have voiced their collective opinions on this issue and are backing Murali to the hilt. Surely their voices have to be respected, not those of the hoi-polloi who only want to be heard or possibly have an axe to grind.
After all, these three former Sri Lankan cricket captains have, inter alia, represented our country in 376 Test matches, 945 ODIs and have scored 56,203 international runs, having established many records into the bargain as well. One of them skippered a World Cup winning team as well, and was particularly helpful to Murali. In this regard the writer too contributed his mite, and as expected Murali has expressed his gratitude. As testimony, an autographed framed shirt of Murali’s hangs proudly at my residence.
Well, it would be most interesting to know what steps Sri Lanka Cricket would now take to commemorate this unique honour that has been bestowed on Murali and thereby the country.
ARJUNA for Murali and country, Adelaide 1998
Thus saved by a combination of doggedness, science, determination and effort by a band of people from Ranatunga, Sumathipala, Daryl Foster and the UWA team to Tony Greig, Mahinda Wijesinghe, Ranjit Fernando, Dr Dillon … and above al by his indomitable spirit and skill