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 Andrew Symonds Urges Aussie Crowds To Respect Murali

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PostSubject: Andrew Symonds Urges Aussie Crowds To Respect Murali   Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:40 pm

All-rounder Andrew Symonds has urged Australian crowds to applaud Muttiah Muralitharan if the controversial off-spinner breaks Shane Warne's Test wickets record when Sri Lanka tour Down Under in November.

The 35-year-old Sri Lankan became the second player in history to reach 700 victims in the final Test against Bangladesh in Kandy earlier this month, and lies eight scalps behind leg-spinner Warne's record haul.

Symonds, a former team-mate of Muralitharan at English county Lancashire, said he hoped Australian crowds would respect his achievements despite him twice being called for throwing on tours there in the 1990s.

"I just hope the beer drinkers in the sun don't give him a hard time and late one afternoon if he breaks the record they start on him," Symonds told Australian Associated Press .

"I hope that doesn't happen, I hope people can stand up and actually applaud him for what he is, a legend of a game."

Sri Lanka play a two-Test series against Australia starting in Brisbane on Nov 8, but Muralitharan has only played three Tests on Australian soil largely due to the throwing controversies.

CHUCKER COMMENT

He was also called for throwing by match referee Chris Broad after taking 28 wickets in a three-Test series on home soil against the Australians in 2004.

He later that year skipped the tour of Australia after Prime Minister John Howard apparently agreed with a reporter's comment that Muralitharan was a 'chucker'.

The fact that the retired Warne only smashed through the 700-wicket barrier at the Boxing Day Test against England last year may also add spice to the barracking.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the prospect of Muralitharan breaking of Warne's short-lived record in Australia was a reason to celebrate.

"Each to their own how they do that, but it has been 700 wickets and whatever it is for breaking Shane's record is a remarkable achievement and well worth celebrating," he said.

"We would prefer an Australian to hold the record for the most number of wickets, but the reality is that records are there to be broken."

Muralitharan has never played at the Gabba, scene of November's first Test, and would also be making his bow at Hobart's Bellerive Oval for the second Test scheduled to start on Nov 16.
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