I will miss Chennai and Dhoni: Muralitharan
New Delhi: Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan says he will miss his previous IPL team Chennai Super Kings and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni but is excited to play for Kochi franchisee, the new entrants in the Twenty20 league.
Muralitharan, who had played a crucial role in CSK`s title-triumph in IPL-III and Champions League last year, was been signed up by team Kochi for USD 1.1 million at the two-day auction in Bangalore.
"I played with them for three years and have several happy memories with the team. My wife is also from Chennai and she is upset with this change but it happens in the game. I will miss Chennai, my teammates and miraculous captain Dhoni," Muralitharan told reporters.
"Chennai had the excellent captain, a wonderful team and tremendous support. We enjoyed playing for them and last year was memorable in which we won the IPL and Champions league. I have taken a lot of wickets for them," said the veteran, who has 515 ODI and 800 Test wickets in his kitty.
"Kochi is a new venture and we will have new captain and new targets. I am quite excited about this. We will start afresh and try to give our best. I hope to have home like atmosphere in Kochi as well. I hope that people will understand my language (Tamil) in Kochi also," he added.
The spin wizard, who took 40 wickets in 40 matches for Chennai in last three seasons, said he wants to extend his IPL career for a few more years.
"I want to play IPL for the next two or three more years. I will try to perform with best of my abilities and experience. Team Kochi has put so much faith on me and I will not disappoint them," said the ace off spinner,
Talking about Kochi`s combination of players, Muralitharan said they need some more young Indian guns.
"Kochi has experienced players like Mahela Jayawardhane, Brendon McCullum, VVS Laxman and Sreesanth. Now it is necessary to have some talented Indian youngsters," he said.
When asked about now CSK spinner Suraj Randiv`s wish to learn the art of Doosra from him, the ace bowler said that he is willing to share his experience with the young bowlers.
"Suraj is a good bowler and future of Sri Lanka Cricket. Definitely I will give him important tips. Rather than the franchise, he is the one who will be benefited by playing for them. I am willing to share my experience and knowledge with everyone," said Murali.
Asked about his future plans, he said, "You don`t know what is there in store for you. I will be involved with cricket for sure but not as a coach with any national team. May be at a shorter scale."
Talking about the snub the IPL Franchisees meted out to Saurav Ganguly and Sanath Jayasuriya, he said, "This is franchise`s decision. I don`t know what is their thinking and calculations. I am also surprised but they are great players and will remain that."
Muralitharan, who quit Test cricket in July 2010, said it is his dream that bids adieu to ODI cricket with another World Cup Tophy in his hands.
"We are playing in the sub-continent. India will be the hot favourites but Sri Lanka is also a good team and we have played well recently. I hope that we can win the tournament which is my last one.”
"I am happy that my name is there in the team. I want to bid adieu with the title triumph. I consider myself lucky as I was the part of 1996 winning team also," he said.