Gun salute for a real gladiator

Gun salute for a  real gladiator

The gun salute was the handiwork of his former team-mate and Galle International stadium curator Jayananda Warnaweera. “It’s usually reserved for Heads of State,” Warnaweera said, “and to me, Murali is the Head of the State of Cricket.”

The guards of honour were offered by the respective teams. The Indian team got together and lined up on two sides – umpires Daryl Harper and Rod Tucker too joined in – when Muralitharan walked out to bat shortly before tea on the third day of the first Test on Tuesday, applauding him all the way to the batting crease.

Then, when Sri Lanka were about to take the field immediately after tea, the Lankans lined up with bats held aloft in cross-shaped patterns, Muralitharan walking under them and on to the field as he led his mates out on to the park.

The celebration that is the Murali week is far from finished. On Thursday, the final day of the Test, ten bands are to play at the ground and Murali will be carried around the ground in a lap of honour and thanksgiving to his numerous fans.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to be here at the stadium on that day, and participate in the numerous award-presentation ceremonies that have been planned for what is certain to be one emotional occasion.

Comments (+)