The man has never played competitive cricket, but is considered a cricket pundit and a good commentator amongst Indians. With India bringing in the biggest bucks, Cricinfo also needed to ensure it’s money making audience is happy. Such is the making of an once unknown, non-entity in cricket, Harsha Bhogle.
Never has he been this vocal in his support for Muralitharan, but today Bhogle has the nerve to criticise Muralitharan for reacting to years of verbal abuse and derogatory remarks from an Indian spinner with 266 wickets.
The highest wicket taker in Test cricket today lashed out in a rare show of emotion at former Indian spinner Bishen Singh Bedi calling him an ordinary bowler, and a man with 800 wickets knows what he is talking about.
Asked about the lack of world-class spinners in India, except for Harbhajan Singh, Muralitharan said Bedi was not in the league BS Chandrasekhar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Erapalli Prasanna.
"Bedi, I don’t think he does not even come to a contest on that. I saw some (of his) bowling of his playing days. In modern era, if he plays he will get hammered every ball, that is what will happen. So no comparison," the world’s most successful spinner said.
"Prasanna is a good bowler. I have seen his bowling. Venkataraghavan is good. But Bedi does not come under it," he said.
Though without mentioning the constant criticism he got from Bedi, the affable Sri Lankan advised the former Indian captain to refrain from whipping up controversies.
"He (Bedi) is also a controversial person. He has lot of controversies everywhere in the world. And he should think about himself first rather than talking about other people," Muralitharan said.
Asked about Bedi’s comments to ban the ‘doosra’ from international cricket, Muralitharan lampooned the Indian by saying that he has no variations in his bowling and was therefore critical of others.
"He (Bedi) did not have any variation. He just bowled left arm spin and pitch did the variation for him. That is what he bowled," he said.
Muralitharan said Anil Kumble was the best spinner India has produced and records speak for themselves.
Bhogle, on his Twitter account has gone to great lengths to defend Bedi, but very rarely has he done so against Muralitharan’s detractors.
However, former Australian skipper, Steve Waugh, agrees with Muralitharan,
Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh on Wednesday backed retired Spin Wizard Muttiah Muralitharan’s remark on Bishen Singh Bedi. Waugh said, “Murali hitting back on Bedi is right.”
Steve was reacting on Murali’s remark for Bedi that an ordinary bowler has no rights to comment on him.
How many wickets do you have again, Harsha? How many teams have you captained? What makes Murali, who has 800 wickets and is considered by Wisden to be the greatest bowler ever, "desperately wrong," and Bedi, with 266 wickets and after years of defamatory remarks towards Muralitharan, and other bowlers, a "legend"?