Sanath Jayasuriya, one of the most successful cricket captains of Sri Lanka has said that Muttiah Muralitharan played a huge part in his captaincy record.
"I have a good record as a Sri Lankan captain, and the main reason for that, I think, is that I was fortunate that Murali was at his peak during the four years I captained the side" Jayasuriya was quoted as saying by a new agency.
Under Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka won 18 of their 38 Tests. Muralitharan played in 17 of those triumphs, and played a significant part, too. In all, 35 Tests under Jayasuriya brought Muralitharan an astonishing 230 wickets at 20.22, well below his career average of 22.71, with 20 five-wicket innings hauls and nine ten-wicket match collections.
"Murali is a great character," Jayasuriya had said. "There’s never a dull moment when he’s around. He’ll keep all of us going, cracking jokes and giving insights on basically anything. He’s also very positive, hardly gets into a negative mentality and basically it’s fun when he’s around. He’s a very genuine guy as well, and the work he did after the tsunami has been very much appreciated by everyone."
Reflecting on his time alongside Muralitharan in the national team, the Jayasuriya had said, "Our careers ran parallel. The hard times and the good times we went through together… Going on to win the World Cup in 1996 was the pinnacle.