Eggs no big deal for Murali, says Jayawardene

Published: Monday, February 4, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Brisbane: Brushing off security worries after the Hobart incident, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said that contending with aggressive locals was an integral part of a tour Down Under.

''You have to realise that Australia is a place that when you come it is not only the players but also the crowd (you have to contend with),'' he said.

Jayawardene said,''They have a very aggressive group of players and crowd - everyone wants to win here.'' ''When teams come here they need to make sure they prepare for that and be much more tougher than they should be,'' he added.

However, commenting on the Muralitharan confrontation with the locals, Jayawardene said that the only people who should have been worried were the cheeky locals.

''It (the incident) was near traffic lights and he (Muralitharan) said 'lucky for them it was green because I would have chased them down','' Jayawardene laughed.

''If he had a stone thrown at him he would have thrown it back at the car, But by the time he realised it was an egg, the car had gone.'' ''He laughed it off. That's Murali. The guy has gone through tougher things than eggs being thrown - it's not a big deal,'' he added.

A Sri Lankan group including the world record holder off spinner had eggs and abuse hurled at them in Tasmania last week.

Cricket Australia was so concerned about the incident that they beefed up security for Sri Lanka's tour match against Tasmania.

Muralitharan, past Australian tours have marked by controversies.

The offie had boycotted the Sri Lanka's 2004 Australian tour and at one stage it appeared he would never head Down Under again.

However, Muralitharan returned to play in a two-Test series last year in Australia. He did not make much of an impact, taking four wickets at an average of 100.00.

Emulate India: Jayawardene said his team were looking to copy India and take the attack to Australia on their own turf during the triangular one-day cricket series.

Sri Lanka play their first game in the tournament when they take on India at the Gabba here Tuesday, weather permitting.

If Australia fail to make the finals, the Sri Lankans will overtake them at the top of the one-day rankings.

"We are heading into the right direction," Jayawardene said.

The skipper said his side had looked at how India had taken the game to the Australians in recent clashes.

"India showed after all the mishaps they got together and performed really well -- that's the way forward for other teams (against Australia)," he said.

"You just block everything out -- that's our attitude.

"That's the way you can actually challenge these guys (Australia) on the field."

Sri Lanka were given a boost Monday when scans cleared veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya of a jaw injury after he was hit in the face while batting against Tasmania in a tour match.


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