Aussie reaction to Sri Lanka’s Murali embarrasses Moody

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

June 2, 2007 (AFP) – Former Sri Lankan cricket coach Tom Moody says he is embarrassed by the derogatory reaction and constant harassment directed by Australian crowds towards Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. Muralitharan’s ultra-flexible bowling action has come under its heaviest scrutiny in Australia, where he has been called for throwing on two tours, prompting him to boycott Sri Lanka’s 2004 tour here.

Even Australian Prime Minister John Howard joined in by labelling him a “chucker.”

But Moody, who resigned after a successful stint as Sri Lanka coach to take up a coaching role with Western Australia, claims Murali’s bowling action is more legal than those of some other international cricketers.

“As an Australian when I have been with the Sri Lankan team in Australia, or playing against them in the World Cup, it’s the only situation we find in the whole of the cricketing world where we have this disgraceful slant on a cricketer,” Moody told Saturday’s The Australian newspaper.

“My take on it, and I hope I’m right, and I’ve shared this with Murali, is that it’s Australia’s nature to show that response in a way of respect and acknowledgement of someone who is pretty special and unique.