Muttiah Muralitharan, the most decorated spinner in the history of international cricket, has opined that playing IPL is harder than representing one’s country in international cricket. The former Sri Lanka spinner made the comments during an interaction with his former IPL teammate and India off-spinner R Ashwin in his show ‘DRS with Ash’.
Having proved himself around the world with his exceptional bowling, the former spinner said the competition level in IPL is high and foreign players have to sit out irrespective of performance to maintain certain team combinations based on conditions and the opposition.
“Playing IPL difficult than playing for country,” said Muttiah Muralitharan.
“With country, you know you will perform. You will have the confidence that you’ll get the ball, you’ll play. But in IPL, no matter how well you’ve done, you might have to sit out for the sake of team combination. So that’s part and parcel of IPL. You have to accept it and move on,” added the bowling great who holds the record for most number of wickets in ODIs and Tests.
Muttiah Muralitharan represented three teams in IPL. After starting his career with Chennai Super Kings, he went on to play for now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Royal Challengers Bangalore. While Sri Lanka rarely benched him during his illustrious international career, he said there were matches in IPL where he has had to sit out for the team combination’s sake.
“In IPL only four foreigners can play so tea composition is there. Some matches need all-rounders, some don’t. I too have sat out many matches. But I’ve never been unsatisfied. That is part of the game,” said Muttiah Muralitharan.
As far as his IPL career is concerned, he started playing in it from the inaugural season in 2008 and retired after 2015 season. His most productive phase in the IPL came when he played for Super Kings where he picked up 52 wickets in 46 matches under MS Dhoni’s leadership.