Murali ties the knot to his mother's relief
Pictures by Prasanna Hennayake
CHENNAI, India, Monday (Reuters) - Surrounded by brightly coloured
statues of Hindu gods, Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was
married on Monday, to the relief of his mother.
wed 24-year-old business graduate Madhi Ramamurthy at a five-hour
ceremony attended by 2,000 guests in the southern Indian city of
"This is the happiest day of my life," the 32-year-old
told Reuters at the ceremony witnessed by team mates Sanath Jayasuriya,
Chaminda Vaas and World Cup-winning captain and close friend Arjuna
Muralitharan's mother Lakshmi had been fretting for years that
her son was focusing too much on cricket at the expense of his personal
In the end it was a shoulder injury that gave the celebrated wicket-taker
the necessary push to tie the knot.
"After being injured in August and spending so much time alone,
I thought a lot about the future and felt the time was right for
marriage," Muralitharan said.
"We liked each other instantly and I knew she was the one
The couple were engaged in November after Lakshmi, a cricket and
Tamil movie fan, arranged a meeting between the pair through a Tamil
Muralitharan was convinced after a one-hour meeting that Madhi
was the girl he wanted to marry. When the horoscopes matched the
marriage was confirmed.
Madhi, who holds a post-graduate qualification in business administration,
works as a director in charge of administration at a private heart
hospital in Chennai founded by her late father.
Before the engagement she confessed to being clueless about cricket
and Sri Lanka's most famous celebrity.
She has since embraced the game and furiously read up on the Sri
Lankan team and players.
DOWN TO EARTH
is such a simple and down-to-earth person that I liked him immediately.
He is always smiling and makes you feel so comfortable," she
Muralitharan, former holder of the world record for test wickets,
arrived in Chennai last week with his three brothers to help organise
the four-day celebration.
This will conclude with a banquet for 1,000 people on Tuesday night
which the entire Sri Lankan team will attend.
Formal ceremonies started on Sunday night with an engagement function.
The wedding day - an auspicious day chosen on the advice of an astrologer
- started early with Muralitharan arriving at the wedding hall at
A traditional homecoming ceremony in Sri Lanka has been cancelled
as a mark of respect for around 40,000 people killed on the island
by Asia's tsunami.
The couple will leave for Sri Lanka on Wednesday morning and Madhi
has already made her first sacrifice to cricket - her honeymoon.
Muralitharan, who had shoulder surgery in February, is going straight
back into his rehabilitation programme in the hope of being able
to head to England in April to play county cricket for Lancashire.