Island Cricket

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Warne and Murali all smiles

Click to play video ( Video courtesy Fox Sports Australia - May not be available in all regions)

Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralidaran play down reports of a row between the two spin legends.

Related News bulletins:

Spinners bury the hatchet

By Greg BuckleFormer Australian CaptainNovember 15, 2007

SHANE Warne and Muttiah Muralidaran laughed and joked their way through the Warne-Muralidaran Trophy launch, saying reports of tensions between them had been a "miscommunication".

Warne's call earlier this week for the Sri Lankan's controversial bowling action to be tested under match conditions by the ICC had infuriated Muralitharan, who said he was very disappointed with Warne's comments and that the Australian “must be a miserable man in his life”.

Warne retired in January with a world record 708 Test wickets to his name. Muralitharan is poised to break the record, needing seven wickets.

“Maybe he just doesn't want me to pass his record,” added the Sri Lankan.

The pair had a quick heart-to-heart, shook hands and fronted a press conference to launch the trophy now at stake in every Australia-Sri Lanka Test series.

“There is no issue at all,” a smiling Muralitharan said.

“I thought he said something about my bowling action and then I said he was a miserable man. We just talked to each other and patched it up.

“It was a miscommunication more than anything else.”

Warne said he discussed the issue with Muralitharan after the Sri Lankan's angry response made headlines.

“I spoke to Murali about it this morning so I'm pretty happy actually, I'm not that miserable,” Warne said.

“I've got absolutely no issue with Murali and his action or anything like that.

“All I've said in my column was that commonsense should prevail. If umpires or anybody has any issue with actions, I'm not saying Murali's but anyone's in world cricket, then they should be tested in match conditions.

“I've enjoyed having it (the world record). I'm happy to pass it on to Murali. He'll take a thousand (wickets).”

Since doubts emerged on Muralitharan's action during Sri Lanka's infamous 1995 tour of Australia, he has undertaken several biomechanical lab tests, and has been repeatedly cleared.
In his newspaper column on Tuesday, Warne wrote: “I think for his own peace of mind and everyone in world cricket, do the testing in the heat of battle - a Test match.

“Surely the ICC, Sri Lanka and Murali would want that.”

Cricket Australia had been under pressure to beef up their promotional efforts for Friday's second Test at Bellerive Oval but their problems were solved with the arrival at 12.01pm of Warne, the human headline.

What Australian cricket wants at the moment is a hero and Warne remains that.
The King of Spin's arrival was greeted by a mob of TV cameras who crowded around as Warne chatted amiably with Muralitharan, the Australian in a dashing grey suit with a sparkling diamond earring.

The Victorian leggie's competitive instincts were still on show when Muralitharan spoke during his press conference of wanting to improve on his 2-170 in last week's first Test.

“Maybe I can take 10 wickets. It can happen,” said Muralitharan.

Warne's response was quick. “Six will do mate,” he said.

Muralitharan conceded Warne was a better tactical bowler.

“If I had his cricket knowledge I would have a thousand now,” Muralitharan said. “I am learning to set up people. My brain doesn't work as good as his.

“People will ask who is the best. I think you have seen the greatest bowler ever produced in the entire world.”



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