London: Former Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has cautioned Australia not to consider a boycott of a tour to his country, and does not share the view expressed by almost 3000 people in a poll conducted by a leading daily.
“Sport and politics are different. If Australia is not going to play any more in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zimbabwe … If they only play in some countries, world cricket will die and IPL (Indian Premier League) will take over,” the daily quoted Muralitharan, as saying.
Muralitharan’s reaction comes in the wake of a poll involving 3527 people in which 2856 (81 percent) said that the Australian tour should not be undertaken.
The tour to Sri Lanka will go ahead as scheduled, but since the screening on Four Corners of a graphic Channel 4 documentary about atrocities committed at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war and its aftermath, unease has been privately expressed by some players.
Muralitharan is playing for English county Gloucestershire, said that while players were entitled to make individual decisions, withdrawing from the tour would have dire consequences for world cricket.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has raised no objection to the Sri Lankan tour and CA is committed to it, conscious of cricket`s power as a unifying force.