ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai

'We're going to miss Murali terribly' - Sangakkara

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 2, 2011

Comments: 108 | Text size: A | A

Muttiah Muralitharan is not satisfied with an effort in the field, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
India deprived Muttiah Muralitharan of the send-off he sought © Associated Press

Kumar Sangakkara rued not being able to give Muttiah Muralitharan the perfect send-off in what was his final international appearance for Sri Lanka and admitted the team would "miss him terribly." Sri Lanka were beaten by six wickets in the World Cup final by India in Mumbai and Murali, on one of his rare off days, went wicketless in eight overs and conceded 39 runs.

"It's one of those rare days when he hasn't really done the job for us, but it happens maybe once in a 100 games," Sangakkara said. "We're going to miss him terribly. Unfortunately we couldn't give him a great send-off but that's the way it goes. We were outplayed and we have to accept that."

Sri Lanka had done well after winning the toss, posting 274 thanks to a superlative century from Mahela Jayawardene. They were in command when Lasith Malinga dismissed India's openers, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, early in the chase. But the Indian middle order stepped up with Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni reviving the innings with match-winning half-centuries.

Murali was dealt with easily by Gambhir and Dhoni, who hit him repeatedly to the extra-cover boundary. Murali had come into this game with a groin injury, and while it was considered a risk to play him, the game was just too big to leave him out. Sangakkara, however, said fitness didn't affect Murali's performance.

"He's our best bowler, even if half-fit," Sangakkara said. "But he was fine, he was almost at full fitness when he played today. I don't think it was an issue."

Murali had ended his Test career on a high, picking up a wicket with his final delivery to win Sri Lanka a game against India last year. And while that perfect ending eluded him this World Cup, Sangakkara summed up what he meant for Sri lanka. "Murali is the icon of Sri Lanka," he said. "As a champion on the field and off the field. As a human being and a cricketer, I don't think there is anyone to match him."


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Posted by Mark on (April 5, 2011, 22:34 GMT)

I like that Murali started cutting loose on the field. Too bad he waited so long. As good as he was, he'd have been even better if his on-field persona was more combative. According to Lara, even though he found Murali much more difficult to face, he rated Warne higher simply because Warne never gave up and kept coming at him no matter how many runs he conceded.

Posted by fabian on (April 4, 2011, 18:46 GMT)

What a player....What a sportsman and what a genuinely nice guy. Murali as a Pakistani fan we are truly going to miss you. You might have been a nightmare for batsmen all around the world but to the cricketing fan you were a pleasure to watch. Good luck in all your future endeavours mate.

Posted by Aussie on (April 4, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

Surprising selection by SL in the final. Injured Murali could do so much....All the best Murali. Looking forward to see you in action again, maybe as a Coach...

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

Hi murali, We will miss you. But we can feel your smell all in our life. Thanks a lot for your grate job on behalf of our team.

Posted by Charindra on (April 4, 2011, 7:18 GMT)

Such a sad end to this amazing cricketer's career... At least he wrote the perfect script in test cricket, and also picked up a wicket off the last ball he bowled in Sri Lanka. So he has done well. And there will never be another like him. He would have done better if not for the stupid dew! Ugh....

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

Murali will be missed for sure. It is now time to select the next SPIN kingpin of SL. Is it Mendis or Randiv. Both are good. But Mendis has class. Randiv will mature too. The impact of not playing Mendis in the final can be seen. He was a better bowler this tournament. Not sure what was running in the selectors mind when they left out Mendis. Play him regularly and you will get a match winner just like Murali. Need to think of replacements for Samaraweera too. He is a good Test batsman but not a great One Day player. Find bowlers who can support Malinga and Mendis. Not everything is bad for SL. I am sure Sanga will be around. Matthews could be the future captain. Have a pool of decent playes who can make the cut when given an opportunity.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 4, 2011, 4:10 GMT)

Hats off to you, Murali. You have been a great cricketer and a priceless ambassador for the game of cricket. I hope your records stay forever, making you one of the tallest pillars in the World Cricket.

Posted by Tim on (April 4, 2011, 2:00 GMT)

I will miss you Murali. Sri Lanka, and World Cricket will never be the same.

Such a legend and one of the nicest people to have ever graced this wonderful game has left and no one can ever replace what you have done. Records, charities, and all!

All the best with the rest of your life and may you live happily and content knowing how much you have done for this game.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 3, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

Salute you, the true legend, Murali. Still can't imagine that SL is going to play without you. Please be with the team and lift up our young guns. You were the mentor of the team as well, and please continue that great contribution for the future.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 3, 2011, 15:29 GMT)

It was a wrong decision to play injured Murali in the final... he has already got a perfect send off in the semi against NZ played in front of home crowd by picking the wicket in his last ball in home.... The same happened in test,,, Anyways he is a legend and he will be remembered as a best off-spinner ever....

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