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T20 leagues sans Indians won’t flourish: Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Muralitharan

All the leagues across the globe wants Indian players to play in them, says former Sri Lanka cricket team spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, the bowling coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL)

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 12, 2017 11:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Indian Premier League,IPL,Sunrisers Hyderabad
Many cricket boards are planning or have started domestic T20 leagues modelled on the success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after seeing its phenomenal success. But Muttiah Muralitharan, whose team Sunrisers Hyderabad play Mumbai Indians Wednesday night, feels no league will attain popularity unless Indian superstar cricketers feature in them.(Getty Images)

Spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan believes Twenty20 leagues, which are mushrooming all over the world after the success of the Indian Premier League (IPL), are unlikely to flourish without Indian players’ participation.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced its intention to create a city-based T20 competition, beginning in 2020, and Cricket South Africa (CSA) also has grand plans for a similar T20 league.

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“Whatever said and done, if Indians players are not going to playing in those tournaments, it’s not going to be a big hit. Everyone wants Indian players, (otherwise) it won’t have an impact as IPL,” said Muralitharan, the bowling coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Having seen Ravichandran Ashwin grow from a budding off-spinner at the Chennai Super Kings to the top spinner in the world, the Sri Lankan said it was the bowler’s self-confidence which helped him become a world beater.

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“As a bowler you bowl the same, it doesn’t matter whether CSK or any other team, (Ashwin’s) confidence has improved. Self-confidence is the biggest boost for any cricketer, everyone has talent at the first-class level. He is at top of his form, you have to appreciate, rather than criticise him that he takes wickets in India. Give him a chance.”

Muralitharan said India had the attack to make an impact playing away from home. “They (India) have an attack to build, they have good spin and fast bowling attack. It’s not that India go abroad and lose.”

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On fewer number of Sri Lankan players in the IPL, Muralitharan said was it due to lack of quality talent back home.

“Obviously, we don’t have the talent back home. We had great teams, great players but they are all retired at the moment. New guys (players) are coming, until they establish, franchises won’t pick them, (because the) best four foreign players you have to pick in the side. When they do well, franchises will pick them. It happens. In 2007, 2008 we had about 12-13 players, we had great players who played for a long time and got experience.”

First Published: Apr 12, 2017 11:51 IST