Murali hits ‘ stupid’ spot- fixing speculation for six
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.’’