Cardiff Test was Sri Lanka's worst-ever performance: Muralitharan

England pacer Chris Tremlett appeals for a wicket during the first Test in Cardiff Getty Images

London: Jun 2, 2011

Legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan termed Sri Lanka’s humiliating innings-defeat against England in the first Test at Cardiff as “worst-ever performance.”

Muralitharan, who retired as world’s leading wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs was on a flight to United Kingdom when his teammates were shot out for 82 in the second essay to lose by an innings and 14 runs.

“I think it was the worst-ever performance,” Murali was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

When questioned whether he would respond to an SOS call by country’s cricket board as team lacks quality bowling attack, the answer was an emphatic “No.”

“I was happy to finish and I decided a long time ago that once I retired from Test match cricket, I would stay retired. If you keep on coming back when someone asks, it means you were not retired in the first place.”

Murali will be playing for Gloucestershire in the Twenty20 championship for the next two seasons. The first bowler to take 800 wickets in Test cricket, Murali admitted that he was indeed shaken by the abject surrender.

“When I boarded the flight, I was convinced it would be a draw. There had been a lot of time lost due to rain and neither side looked as though they were in a position to win it, especially on such a flat wicket. To learn that we had lost was certainly a big shock.”

But Murali feels that the team doesn’t become a poor side just because of one bad loss. “We must remember is that because a team loses in that manner, it does not automatically become a bad side,” he stated.