A harsher form of the blog title would be “an eye for an eye”. Age old statement. But kind of relevant today. Probably Muralitharan brought this statement back to limelight. Thanks again to the media.
A debate has again started brewing, about Murali’s ability to bowl (some say chuck) and is Murali the greatest bowler ever. Started off by the TV interviews of Muralitharan after he announced his retirement from test cricket.
Bishan Singh Bedi had gone ballistic calling Murali a chucker. Bedi added that if ICC had not bent the rules, Murali would not have achieved, what he has. Bedi has been a crictic of Murali since long. He had called Murali a cheat, a javelin thrower, a shot putter etc. Back in 2007, Murali had also filed a $9 million legal suit against Bedi, against Bedi’s constant insults meted upon Murali.
Controversy seems to be Bedi’s second name. Even during his days as a player, Bedi was controversial. After his retirement, Bedi’s magical fingers and shoulders stopped and his mouth started playing. The entire Indian team took a caning when Bedi (the then Indian coach) asked them to jump off the plane into the ocean. He also said Ganguly does not deserve a place in Indian squad. Part of the media and some players came out openly against the controversial Sardar, then. Not to forget - Ganguly’s bat told Bedi - why he is probably the best left hand batsman India has produced.
Yesterday’s comments on Bedi from Murali are shocking. Shocking not because of the words used. Shocking because it came from a mild mannered Muralitharan. To be fair, Bedi got what he deserved. If you do not respect, don’t expect it back.
The SriLankan strategically tried to hit 2 birds with one stone. “Bedi does not belong to the class of Prasanna, Chandra and Venkatraghavan. Bedi is an ordinary spinner.” Murali isolated Bedi from the others in the group.
Though the entire retired spin fraternity of India replied back against the world record holder, the statements have raised a debate within the famous spin attack of India. Who is better? Prasanna, Chandra, Bedi, Venkat, Maninder, Kumble, Raju?
If number of wickets is the yardstick – Kumble, Bedi are the top 2 (among the listed above). But then if the same yardstick is used, Murali is the best.
Harsha Bhogle once said not all famous\good cricketers can be good commentators. Bedi could be on his mind then. Will Murali also join this group of great cricketers and bad commentators?
There’s a clear lesson from the debate – In public life, expect no mercy from anybody.