'Spin kings' Warne, Muralidaran reveal 'mutual respect' for each other
Spin bowling legends Muthiah Muralidaran and Shane Warne demonstrated a genuine spirit between each other, and it was evident on Thursday in a warm embrace before they sat together as opponents to promote Big Bash opener.
Their eye-popping bowling records aside, the Test trophy for which Australia and Sri Lanka compete bears their names and will ensure a timeless bond.
"People say this match is Murali against Warne, but it's much more than that. People say it always has been between us -- especially when Sri Lanka and Australia played -- but we just both do our best, try hard, for our team," News.com.au quoted Muralidaran, as saying.
"I'm happy our names are together because I'm happy with my achievements and I think Warne is the same and we both did well in international cricket," he added.
Meanwhile, Warne said: "He's the way he looks to everyone -- he's very funny and he's the 'wirly-twirly' man. He's always got a smile on his face, he's theatre, he's entertaining and what he does with the ball is pretty special."
The pair shares another special tie i.e. their work in Sri Lanka after the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 and the time they shared helping rebuild after the disaster.
"Sri Lanka is a special place to me and after the tsunami hit I rang (Murali) and said I wanted to come over straight after that Sydney Test and help," Warne said.
"I had no idea what I was doing, I just wanted to help and stand by his country. I love the Sri Lankan people, they've always been nice to me," he added.
Muralidaran said: "He helped us put something very bad behind (us). It's special, because cricket is played around the world and without spectators who come and watch us, there is no cricket."