Sri Lankan cricket great Muttiah Muralitharan says Sri Lankan cricket has gone ‘backwards’ when it comes to developing its talents, however, he cautioned India that the ‘game will bite’ if they underestimate the Lions when the two teams’ World Cup clash scheduled for Thursday in Mumbai.
The legendary spinner attributed Sri Lanka’s decline since the mid-2010s to its failure to back talented players and build a team.
Champions’ sides are not made in just one day or one year, it is a process of five years, the official ambassador for the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup said.
The 13th edition of the cricket flagship tournament has been accompanied by talk of the death of the one-day game. As if to corroborate this theory, only the matches featuring hosts India have seen stadiums fill up to capacity. Muralitharan strongly opined that all three formats need to be preserved and believed spreading matches in the present edition across the Asian subcontinent would have ensured a better turnout.
“What happens is, here in India, because you’re playing in one country, the spectator is sometimes reluctant to [watch] other smaller teams. If it had been all four Asian countries, this would have been one of the biggest World Cups. Like when you play in England, Ireland and Scotland, then the public interest in the local team, to support them, will come in numbers. So then you would not have seen sometimes the 30%, 40% [turnout]. So, in future, I thought for the ICC to look at that way [of hosting a World Cup] because home teams’ people will love to come and watch all the matches and support them.”
-with inputs from Times of India