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Decline of Sri Lankan cricket saddens me: Muttiah Muralitharan

"The standard of cricket goes down."

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Tom Shaw / Getty Images)

Sri Lankan cricket has gone into the shambles ever since the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardena, Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva, and Kumar Sangakkara hung their boots from international cricket. They haven’t found the appropriate replacements and subsequently, the 1996 World Champions have strained to find their feet at the highest level.

In the last two years, Lanka have been a witness to as many nine captains across all the formats. Sri Lanka lost the two-match Test series 2-0 to Australia and skipper Dinesh Chandimal was removed from the role. The team is next scheduled to play a couple of Tests against South Africa in the latter’s backyard and Dimuth Karunaratne has been named as the new captain.

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It is a worrying sign

In the meantime, former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is arguably one of the greatest bowlers to have played the game, is highly upset with the decline of cricket in the country. The veteran put forth how the team qualified for three World Cup finals and expressed his worries.

“I have not been associated with Sri Lankan cricket ever since I retired. The decline of Sri Lankan cricket saddens me. For a team that had reached the World Cup final three times and has a proud cricketing culture, it is a worrying sign,” Muralitharan was quoted as saying to the reporters on Saturday.

Moreover, Muralitharan somewhat lashed out the players, mentioning that they are more inclined towards money and fame. “In my playing days, money wasn’t the criterion. In the 90s, there wasn’t much money. Our passion was to take wickets and score runs. That passion has changed a bit.

If players are in pursuit of money, the standard of cricket goes down. As a player, you should think about your game and not so much the money because if you perform well, money and recognition will follow,” the 46-year-old added.

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