Advertisement

The untold story of Adam Gilchrist and Muttiah Muralitharan

After the comments went public, Gilchrist wanted to personally meet Murali and convey his message.

Adam Gilchrist
Former Australian Cricketer Adam Gilchrist. (Photo by Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In his book ‘True Colours’, Australian wicketkeeping legend Adam Gilchrist has revealed some controversial facts about spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan. While the incidents are not known to many cricket fans, people are bound to find them interesting and shocking. It is known to the whole world that Muralitharan was suspected of chucking at a point of time in his career, but was cleared after going through tests.

The book roots back to an incident which took place when Sri Lanka and England met in Adelaide. English wicketkeeper Alec Stewart, who was leading the side referred to the match as ‘the least enjoyable game of cricket he ever played’. The match was highlighted by a lot of tension among the players of the both the teams which involved physical contact like pushing and also verbal altercations.

Advertisement

Umpire Ross Emerson held Muttiah Muralitharan guilty of throwing the ball in the match which did not go down well with skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. Ranatunga took his team off the field and was about to cross the gate when they were stopped by the team management. The game stood still while Ranatunga exchanged phone calls to Colombo. The game was brought to action once again but a few days later, Arjuna turned up at the disciplinary hearing with lawyers who argued that the ICC had no legal jurisdiction to enforce punishments.

The main story:

The ICC agreed on a token suspended sentence on Arjuna Ranatunga due to the lack of actual evidence. Adam Gilchrist was way too confused on seeing the game on Television. In May 2002, when Gilchrist was invited for a lunch at Charlton Football Club, he was thrown into a question about Murali’s action. Club President, John Elliot invited Gilchrist on the stage and asked a few questions. Gilchrist mentions that after a few normal questions, Elliot suddenly asked him whether Murali chucks the ball or not. Gilchrist admits that the left hander was taken aback by the question.

In an answer, Gilchrist had stated ” I think he does. I say, because if you read the laws of the game, there is no doubt in my mind that he and many others through cricket history have,”.

“I do not back away from what I said; Murali is a great bloke with whom I have enjoyed many memorable cricket moments playing against him. I do not think he is personally to be blamed: he bowled the way he bowled, and it was not up to him to do any more than what he was asked. I also think that the game would have suffered if we had not seen his tremendous career over the last fifteen years. He was a true genius of what he does, and cricket has been a better game for his contribution.”

Adam Gilchrist also states that he feels sorry for those batsmen who were dismissed by Murali many a time in their career. According to Gilchrist, people should pity those players because their careers went down because of a bowler whose action was not legal, but Murali was so good that nobody gave a thought about the cricketers who lost their wickets to him.

After the comments went public, Gilchrist wanted to personally meet Murali and convey his message. Gilchrist said he wanted to meet the cricketer desperately and followed him in England but could not get in touch. With Dave Whatmore’s help, Gilchrist finally got to talk to Murali and told him that he made the comments thinking that it is a private function and he had no idea that the comments will be circled around the media. Gilchrist also mentioned that he personally does not have a problem playing the Sri Lankan.

The Aussie states that Murali is a wonderful guy and they have been very good friends ever since.

Advertisement