December 3, 2007

Sri Lankan cricket

In praise of Murali

Kanishkaa Balachandran

Michael Marqusee, writing in the Guardian, feels that anyone who cares for cricket should celebrate Murali's record-breaking achievement, which is the result of his own skill, accuracy, stamina, variety and ingenuity. Despite the euphoria, one will have to put with the negative calls, particularly from Australia, that the record will be remembered for the wrong reasons.

The definition of a throw appears less clear-cut than was supposed. The authorities responded by revising the laws to allow a degree of flex. This has nothing to do with Murali's feats: the law was changed to reflect new research, not to protect Murali. In retrospect it's clear that, far from enjoying preferential treatment, Murali has been singled out unfairly.

Simon Barnes, writing for the Times, too feels that the Australians will never throw in the towel over Shane Warne’s status as second best.

The argument that Murali is less good because he is compromised (mainly by Australian insularity) is simply not admissible.

The Age’s Greg Baum salutes Murali from Australia.

He has climbed the mountain, and as he plants his flag at the peak, it would be churlish to do other than to congratulate him. Warne - give him his due - already has.

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Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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