Really hope it has an effect.
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No-one likes to see any bloke cop a load of abuse (the exceptions to this rule are Robbie Savage & Craig Bellamy, obv) but I do sometimes think Murali might have encouraged the more boneheaded elements of the Aussie crowd with his slightly queeny response to the crap he cops. If he'd have said to himself "Balls to the lot of you" and answered with a bagfull of wickets I think the ockers would've warmed to him; as he's let it become public knowledge how hurtful he finds it & even refused to tour down under I suspect this encourages his abusers.
Not claiming all Aussie crowds are saints, but I remember how Fat Gray warned last year about all the horrible racist abuse Monty would cop during The Ashes & they seemed to love him.
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And no, it's certainly not only Aussies, there was a share of the rubbish (however little coverage it got) here in 2006. It just tends to have more of a meal made of it in Australia than anywhere else.
I can't help feeling, anyway, that Symonds' words will fall on deaf ears. I'll be very surprised if Murali doesn't cop it as usual.
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It was only once anything other than in-jest, TBF. Was always made very obvious that those in quesion were just 'avin' a laff.
Anyway, Murali copped abuse from way before it became obvious that he (or Warne for that matter) would one day be the world's leading wicket taker so can't agree that it's the primary motivation.
If in that year, never mind in 1992 when their paths first crossed, you'd told anyone present that one day they'd be jostling for the top around the 700-wicket mark, I doubt many if any would've believed you.
Props to Symonds for speaking up on Murali's behalf. I'm a huge Murali fan, but I think he needs to grow thicker skin. I realize that he's the target of the worst of abuse out there, but he's a professional athlete. He should be able to take it. In fact, use it for motivation and blow away the other team's lineup. That will shut up the crowd, I guarantee it. As long as the abuse is not racist or personal, everything else is fair game IMO. Chants of "no ball", or booing, is not crossing the limits.
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