Playing IPL is difficult than playing for country: Muttiah Muralitharan

Playing IPL is difficult than playing for country: Muttiah Muralitharan

Murali played 66 IPL matches from 2008 to 2014, picking up 63 wickets.

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

Muttiah Muralitharan, the former Sri Lankan cricketer, reckons than playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is tougher than representing one’s national team. The Kandy-born made his IPL debut back in 2008 for MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and tasted quite a bit of success. In 66 matches, Murali picked up 63 wickets at a frugal economy of 6.68.

The veteran offie played three seasons for CSK from 2008 to 2010 before moving to the defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala. The now 48-year-old said that there’s a sense of security while playing for the national team as compared to the IPL where one could miss out despite decent performances.

In IPL only four foreigners can play: Muttiah Muralitharan

“Playing IPL difficult than playing for country,” Muralitharan was quoted as saying during an interaction Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin on the latter’s show ‘DRS with Ash’. Murali and Ashwin have played together for the Super Kings.

“With country, you know you will perform. You will have the confidence that you’ll get the ball, you’ll play. But in IPL, no matter how well you’ve done, you might have to sit out for the sake of team combination. So that’s part and parcel of IPL. You have to accept it and move on,” he stated.

Murali said that since an IPL eleven can have only four foreign players, he had to warm the benches as well. “In IPL only four foreigners can play so tea composition is there. Some matches need all-rounders, some don’t. I too have sat out many matches. But I’ve never been unsatisfied. That is part of the game,” Muralitharan added.

Murali last played IPL in the 2014 edition where he turned out for Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Though he would be remembered for his performances in ODI and Test cricket, his T20 numbers aren’t meek, picking up 179 wickets from 164 matches at an economy of 6.38.

He also plied his trade for teams like Jamaica Tallawahs, Melbourne Renegades. Even almost after a decade after his international retirement, a number of his records remain unscathed. In 133 Tests, 350 ODIs and 12 T20Is, he picked up 800, 534 and 13 wickets respectively to go with 60 four-wicket hauls, 77 five-wicket hauls and 22 10-fors.