Murali, as he's popularly known, retired from international cricket in 2010, but has been playing in T20 leagues across the world. Here's what he had to tell CS about his life post retirement, the spot fixing menace and his family:
Time to relax
I feel that I have still not retired completely. I play cricket and practise daily. The time I save in travelling, I spend with my family. Nowadays, I do need a lot of rest (laughs out loud). Playing non-stop cricket and travelling every second day for almost two decades can take a toll on your body. I do enjoy playing T20 cricket. I feel that this format will sustain in the long run and attract new fans to the game.
I feel that some cricketers are greedy but that does not mean that the game is corrupt in its entirety. More than 90 per cent of the cricketers are clean. This premier league season was a good one; the spot fixing controversy was very unfortunate. Some play as per the rules and some don't. I want the premier league to continue as it gives a great platform to many young players to showcase their talent. I support it as I know that a lot of youngsters love to watch it.
My son Naren loves cricket. Like other children his age, he loves T20 matches more than the Tests or the ODIs. I won't put any pressure on him to become a cricketer, as the life of a cricketer is very tough. It needs a lot of patience and hard work. The decision is upto him. I won't force him at all, however I must say he's quite cricket crazy.
There is a lot of similarity between India and Sri Lanka. My forefathers are from India, and they are religious like most Tamilians. I am not as religious as them though. Since childhood, I have admired Indian and West Indian players. They were really nice to fans. My wife, Madhimalar is from Chennai and it was an arranged marriage. She has been a pillar of strength for me. Being a cricketer's wife is a tough task, but she has been quite understanding and co-operative throughout my career.
Words of wisdom
I am not into coaching as of now. In fact, I am looking forward to playing in the upcoming Caribbean premier league. I do give tips to young players who practise with me, and who are in the national team as well. My mantra to every bowler is to bowl with the idea of taking a wicket. A positive approach is a must-have attitude for any bowler in any form of the game.
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