I remember it was 1994 (I was 14 years then)and i went to visit my uncle in Trichy. Since my uncle was busy he left me in one of our family friends house & asked his friends son to take me for a game of cricket with him. That new friend of mine told me they will play cricket only by evening and he said we can watch India vs Sri Lanka test match.
Those days Sri Lanka were underdogs & I was not interested to watch the match because it was a test match and second it is a Indo Sri Lanka Match. But had to watch it as I didn’t have a choice. That is when i came to know through that new friend that there was a lone Tamalian in the team and that was Muralidharan. That is when i came to know this legendary guy. I didn’t know then that this guy is going to create records in his career. Though I supported India & admired Sachin I was happy to watch this guy bowl when this guy bowls.
Then whenever I see Sri Lankan scorecard (they use to loose most of the matches then) I see for Murali’s bowling figures only. But this team went on to become a great success during 1996 world cup and contribution of Murali in bowling was phenomenal along with Vaas & Wikramasinghe and batting was taken care by Jeya Surya, Ranatunga, Aravinda De Silva, Mahanama & Tillakratne. He was one of the core member of the best team Sri Lanka has ever produced till date.
From then the guy whom i admired has become the guy I mostly hated as Sri Lanka started winning matches & Murali would be one of the striking force for the victory. But I think India in the one of the team which has hammered him a lot. But his 100 wickets haul can show he was a success against India. Many times i supported the decision of banning him for chucking not because of logic but because I wanted to get rid off matches against India.
Second thing I got upset was him getting married to Madhu Malar daughter of Malar hospitals and I felt like i lost a fortune & a beauty :(. Still i envy him for that.
Today again he is one of the reason for India’s loss. But we must accept that this guy is a genius cricketer. It is not a joke for someone to be leading wicket taker in both ODI & in Test matches.
When I saw his farewell I instantly remembered the day when I first came to know about him & how he has changed the fortunes of a small island nation & his own image.
At this moment I would Thank him for entertaining us for all these years…