Melbourne: Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralidaran has said that he was shocked when umpire Darrell Hair called him seven times in three overs for his action in 1995.
“I was shocked. Darrell Hair had umpired me so many times before. Before the match I had bowled 10 overs in Sydney in a one-day game. So, I was very surprised when he said I was illegal next match,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Muralidaran, as saying.
“I was so upset. The team was behind me, and I was able to change ends, but that’s not real cricket. He had made up his mind what he wanted to do. That should not happen to another bowler. It’s very embarrassing.”
“A single umpire cannot decide on the career of a bowler. If you are narrow-minded then you will see it that way,” he added.
The 39-year-old said that the whole incident was terrible, as he did not know what to do or what was going to happen to his career.
He also acknowledged that no other bowler would have to face a situation like the 1995 incident because of improved technology.
“Now the rules are better, and the suspect bowler is reported and then technology looks at it, not one man’s naked eye. It’s a better system,” Muralidaran said.
The leg-spinner further admitted that the incident had made him a harder person.
“I learnt to tackle obstacles. My view is to forget and forgive; they are human. I did not miss the 2006 tour because of the Australian public, I love the public, it’s a sporting country and does so well … It was only the leader [John Howard]. But everyone makes mistakes, and you move on,” Muralidaran said.