‘Play hard, dedicate yourself’
Observer-Mobitel Awards: Sri Lanka’s world beater Muttiah
Muralitharan was chief guest and a welcome visitor on stage at Hotel
Galadari Grand Ballroom for the awards ceremony of the Observer-Mobitel
cricket show and his mere presence on stage brought rounds and rounds of
applause last Monday night.
Speaking to the schoolboy cricketers who had gathered in such large
numbers for this much awaited show, Muralitharan spoke to the young
hopefuls in glowing terms. “You are the future players of Sri Lanka and
you all must keep Sri Lanka’s flag flying wherever you go.”
He said that for the cricketers to succeed they must love the game.
‘Play hard and dedicate yourself and then success is bound to come,” he
said and added; “Young cricketers – you all must know that only 11
players can play in a team and when you get the chance of playing, you
all must put your heart and soul and give hundred percent to the team,
so that success will come your way.”
Muralitharan said that he was very happy to be back on stage at this
show after 20 years. He was the Schoolboy Cricketer of the year in 1991
when he was at St.Anthony’s College, Katugastota and on his way to get
that honour he worked hard. “Don’t be disappointed if you fail once or
twice in the early stages of your career, keep on trying and success if
bound to come your way.”
After his playing days were over at St.Anthony’s Katugastota,
Muralitharan came into big-time cricket – Saravanamuttu Trophy
Tournament and then on to Sri Lanka representative cricket.
But, the path was simply not easy as many obstacles were placed, but
he never gave up, but plugged on and then success came his way. “In 1995
there was that chucking controversy, but I didn’t give up and here I
must thank Arjuna Ranatunga – the then skipper and Aravinda de Silva for
backing me and the Cricket Board too supported me. Then when I got
married, my wife supported me to the hilt and all obstacles were done
away with and I came through”, Muralitharan said.
Muralitharan also handed out some advice to the large number of
schoolboys present at the show. “Keep absolutely cool even when the
going is not the way you want.
I learnt this from my skipper Arjuna Ranatunga who sported a cool
head even when the going was not good. Arjuna used to take pressure off
the players when the going is not to his liking. He doesn’t show any
anger – that’s why he is called captain cool,” Murali remarked.