CPL should aim for window - Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan, the former Sri Lanka offspinner, believes the debuting Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has a promising future but should aim for a window in international cricket to be able to attract the best talent from across the world.
"The organizers should get a window on the international cricket calendar to add better players on contract," said Muralitharan, who is playing for Jamaica Tallawahs in the ongoing CPL. "Also, seek assistance and funding for pitches. Hopefully, it will get better."
Muralitharan drew parallels to T20 leagues such as the IPL, where he played alongside Chris Gayle, Ravi Rampaul and Christopher Barnwell for Royal Challengers Bangalore, and the BBL in Australia, where he played with Marlon Samuels for Melbourne Renegades.
Muralitharan urged the Caribbean region to optimize home-grown talent, saying he was not in favour of overseas coaches. "I don't recommend foreign coaches. Local coaches are good enough because they know the players involved. The international players are here to add hype to the tournament."
He was not so impressed with the standard of the playing surfaces, though. "The pitches have been a bit challenging. Some have not been so great but some have been better. It will only get more interesting."
Jamaica captain Gayle dubbed Muralitharan as one of the biggest assets in the dressing room. "He brings a lot of experience and positivity to the team and the younger players, even myself," Gayle said. "He and Ahmed (Shehzad) inject a lot of life into us in the hotel and they're always holding court and making us laugh. When we hear them speaking to each other, it's fun but they're serious out there. Murali helps me lead by example."
On his immediate future, Muralitharan, who retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup, admitted uncertainty. "I'm normally with the Big Bash (this December) but after that, I don't know."
Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here