Murali slams selectors, politicians for destroying SL cricket

Sri Lanka great Muttiah Muralitharan has taken a swipe at politicians and the selectors for ruining the game of cricket in his country.

Muralitharan, who retired having taken the most Test wickets with 800, was also critical of the way the national team selectors have constantly chopped and changed the team over the last two years.

The former spinner also blamed politicians who have no knowledge of the game for meddling in the sport.

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Muralitharan told The Economic Times: “To tell you the truth Sri Lankan cricket is currently in a mess.

“Politicians have taken over the running of the game and with little or no knowledge of the game they are destroying the institution with every passing day.

“Cricket is all about confidence. Giving the players the confidence to perform. Making them feel great when they wear Sri Lankan colours. I did not become a champion bowler in one day.

“For 4-5 years, (former captain) Arjuna Ranatunga kept giving me the confidence. That’s how I became who I am.

“Now every time a batsman goes out to bat he is told you have to score or else we will bench you. The same is true for bowlers. In the last one year Sri Lanka has fielded some 60 players across all formats. 60 players in one year!

“This is irrational and tells you there is no vision how the game should be run. Such frequent chopping and changing will only end up destroying the game further.”

Sri Lanka’s stock in world cricket has declined rapidly in recent years with the Asian side currently sixth in the world Test rankings and eighth in the ODI rankings.