Ranatunga warns Murali of racism

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has spoken out against Muttiah Muralitharan touring Australia, citing previous problems with racist taunts in his warning.

Following on from Australia’s tour of India, where racist remarks made by the crowd were the subject of much media scrutiny, Ranatunga spoke in the interests of the offspinner.

“I told him I wished he wasn’t touring Australia because of the amount of trouble he has had,” he said. “But he wants to go. It was up to him to decide that. My personal opinion was that he shouldn’t go. I think Murali is tough enough to go through that and take whatever he gets.”

Muralitharan heads to Australia with 700 Test wickets, just 8 off Shane Warne’s record mark. With Warne now retired, Muralitharan will look to claim the record for himself during the two Tests on Australian soil. The last time he was there, he received harsh taunts from the crowds and Australian Prime Minister John Howard commented openly on what he believed to be an illegal bowling action.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland assures that there will be no repeat of such incidents. He revealed that an ad campaign was due to be run before the first Test, encouraging good behaviour at the grounds. Ricky Ponting has also appealed for well-behaved fans during the series. The first Test is due to begin on November 8.

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Liam Camps