It’s going to be hard to see him go. Even harder to not see him in a Sri Lankan Test side. No other bowler has sent down more deliveries than Muttiah Muralitharan (Murali) which is testimony to the fact that he carried Sri Lanka’s bowling attack on his own shoulders for more than a decade. Sri Lanka would be hard pressed to fill the void.
Murali did not just achieve, he also contributed. It is no secret that a majority of Sri Lanka’s Test match victories have come on the back of a brilliant spell by the magician.
Murali, a Sri Lankan Tamil, not only made his mark on the field. Off the field, he unified a divided nation and it’s people tormented by years of ethnic war. When Murali, eyes wide open, spun and flicked that ball high over his shoulder, catching the ball in his left hand in his own customary style, before his run up, even the Tamil Tigers were glued to their TV screens. Murali could make a three decade long civil the war stop. In Sri Lanka, no one cared for Muralitharan’s ethnicity. A national hero, he is loved by all of the island’s people.
With the exception of the ignorant, the entire cricket world has applauded his feats. Australia’s own, considered to be the greatest batsman ever, Sir Donald Bradman once said of him: "He holds all the guile of the trade. He is the stuff of our greatest slow bowlers and for me, Murali is one like O’Reilly or Warne, who are game-breakers.
"Murali wants to bamboozle, to trick, through flight and change of pace."
Murali, you will be missed. We have been blessed to have lived through your awe inspiring career. Farewell!