Muttiah Muralitharan gives the reason why he used to bowl leg-spin in his early days

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Muttiah Muralitharan (Screengrab: YouTube)

They say in any profession or in life, a back-up plan is essential as it creates an easy out when times get tough. One has to work a lot harder and a lot longer if there is no option other than the first plan. Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan also believes in the theory as he gave his own example.


In a Start Sports Tamil show, Mind Masters, Murali said that while growing up, he was well aware of the fact that his bowling action could land him in trouble. Hence the right-armer also practised wrist spin to make sure he always had a plan B ready.

“I used to bowl leg-spin also when I was young, so I thought in case I went for tests on my action, and then it doesn’t work, I’d become a leg spinner,” said Muralitharan.


Muralitharan stated that one should always have plan A and B as sticking with one method is not easy.

“As for everything, even when you play cricket, you should have plan A & plan B. You can’t just stick to one plan. Same with any sport. Any day you can face failure in your life or sport, failure is guaranteed, you will need to think about it and take it positively and move on saying tomorrow is another day,” added the veteran spinner.

As Muralitharan had anticipated, there was a phase in his career when his action was questioned. His deliveries were called ‘no-ball’ frequently by former Australia umpire Ross Emerson during a tri-series in Australia in 1998-99. Murali’s action was tested and corrected several times during his career.


“In any game, 90 per cent of the work is to be tactically and mentally fit. Only then can you play. When you are young, you won’t immediately think about that (being mentally fit) because of your interest and love for the game. Automatically, without being told, you’ll think about what to do and do it,” the 48-year-old added further.

Murali opined that it doesn’t matter how good one is with the skills; the technique of handling pressure is something which helps eventually.

“But when you get into the professional level, it’s totally a mental game because of the pressure. A lot of cricketers who have good technique and haven’t dealt with this pressure have fallen off. So, the mental aspect is more important in any sport, not just cricket,” concluded Muralitharan.


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