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Sunday, 2 October 2011

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Murali’s advice:

‘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.

 

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