Muttiah Muralitharan, Daniel Vettori and Anil Kumble — all in one team. There can't be a better spin to a cricketing tale. “It's awesome for all three of us to be together in the same team. Unfortunately, Anil has retired. Had he still been playing, who knows what three of us could have done together,” chuckled Muralitharan.
But what's keeping him going all this while? And that too not just in the IPL; he’s playing T20 in England, went to New Zealand and also signed up for the Bangladesh Premier League? Should one assume that perhaps he called it quits with a lot left in the tank and is regretting the call?
Timing was right
“Not at all, I served my country well and left at the right time. It’s just that I still enjoy playing the T20 cricket, the longer version would have been really tough,” he said.
But isn't that joy somewhat soured when a legend like him fails to find a place in the playing XI and is benched. For the record, he made the cut in only four games last season with Kochi Tuskers, and may miss out on many games this time too. How does he deal with it? “It's fine with me. If the team combination doesn't need me, I am happy to sit out. No issues there at all. After all, the team comes first,” said Murali.
What makes his position more unique vis-à-vis other former greats is that others are shouldering bigger responsibilities in leading their respective sides. So doesn't he too aspire for a bigger role? “Not really. My time is gone, I am here just to enjoy my cricket, There are other people to do the job, I am happy doing what I am doing.”