Muttiah Muralitharan says he is fed up with Australia and will never tour there again after suffering abuse from loutish fans in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka’s leading wicket-taker in both Tests and one-day internationals was jeered at the Gabba as he limped off the field with a thigh strain.
Muralitharan said he was angered by continual taunts over his bowling action, believing sections of the crowd were laughing at him when he injured his leg.
The incident came at the end of a day-night match which Australia won by four wickets, but in which Murali almost triggered an unlikely win for the tourists.
If he is true to his word, Murali may now have played his last match in the country.
His thigh injury will keep him out for a week and Sri Lanka may fail to make the finals of the VB Series if they are beaten by England on Friday.
Murali has endured taunts about his bowling action in Australia for the best part of a decade.
Umpire Darrell Hair called him for throwing during the second Test in Melbourne in 1995.
Tony McQuillan and Ross Emerson did the same in a one-day game against the West Indies in Brisbane.
The situation intensified in the 1998-99 series when Emerson no-balled him from square-leg against England in Adelaide.
“I have been barracked since I first took to the field here and it’s something that’s happened throughout my career, mostly with Australia,” said Muralitharan.
It’s OK once or twice but it’s been going on for seven years
“I have been disgusted with it and I feel like not touring Australia again.”
On Wednesday, Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya had to move Muralitharan from his fielding position in the outfield because he was so affected by the hecklers.
“They should keep their mouths shut,” Muralitharan said.
“The crowd should realize that and if it’s going on like that I might not be able to come and play here anymore,” he said.
“It’s OK once or twice but it’s been going on for seven years.”
Muralitharan’s calf muscle strain will be monitored for the rest of the series as Sri Lanka warm up for the World Cup starting in South Africa in February.
Source : BBC Online
Reproduced courtesy of Prof. Ravi Goonetilleke