Mu­rali hits ‘ stupid’ spot- fix­ing spec­u­la­tion for six

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd -

SRI Lanka spin wizard Muthiah Mu­ral­i­daran says spot-fix­ing al­le­ga­tions against Aus­tralian and Sri Lankan play­ers in the World Cup are ‘‘ stupid’’.

The Sri Lankan state tele­vi­sion broad­caster ac­cused of im­ply­ing vice-cap­tain Ma­hela Jayawar­dene bat­ted poorly for fi­nan­cial gain in Sri Lanka’s loss to Pak­istan last week­end has apol­o­gised.

An In­dian news­pa­per re­port this week also at­tacked Aus­tralia’s open­ers Shane Wat­son and Brad Haddin for de­lib­er­ately bat­ting slowly in the m a t c h a g a i n s t Z i m b a b w e i n Ahmedabad, an al­le­ga­tion the team strongly de­nied.

One-day in­ter­na­tional cricket’s lead­ing wicket-taker Mu­ral­i­daran yes­ter­day seized the chance to hit the spot-fix­ing talk out of the park.

‘‘ How can you say it’s spot-fix­ing or what­ever?’’ said Mu­ral­i­daran, 38.

‘‘ Ev­ery­one wants to win the World Cup, that’s the ultimate thing for ev­ery player. This game is about some­body’s go­ing to fail and some- body’s go­ing to win, other­wise there won’t be a match.

‘‘ Some days some peo­ple will per­form. Some days some don’t.

‘‘ If some don’t per­form, that means they spot-fix? That’s not the thing.

‘‘ Al­le­ga­tions are al­le­ga­tions. You have to prove they are right.

‘‘ Thou­sands of me­dia, they want to make a story, so they can come in and say some­thing stupid. So it doesn’t mat­ter.’’ Mu­ral­i­daran said Sri Lanka would take some con­fi­dence into to­mor­row’s clash with Aus­tralia in Colombo af­ter their ODI se­ries win in Aus­tralia in Novem­ber. But he added Aus­tralia were still the No. 1 side in the game.

‘‘ They have played spin well in the past, in all con­di­tions they have won and they are num­ber one still,’’ Mu­ral­i­daran said.

‘‘ They have won three World Cups in a row. They are the team to beat. ‘‘ We are anx­ious to beat them. ‘‘ It’s go­ing to be a bat­ting wicket rather than a tra­di­tional Sri Lankan wicket.’’

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