The ugly side of Aussie cricket surfaces again
My Dear Murali,
I know that you would be far away in Australia when you read this but I still thought of writing to you when I heard that you were named the greatest bowler in test cricket with your achievements being compared to those of the great Don Bradman in batting.

But why I wanted to write to you even more was because just after this announcement there were reports that some former umpires had criticised your action once again, calling you a chucker.

Of course you have been through all this once before, but doesn't it seem ridiculous that Australia is the only country where you seem to have this problem? And it always seems to emerge when there is a World Cup a few months ahead!

By now you must have seen the Aussie newspapers carrying full page colour pictures of you, but saying in banner headlines that "he's got worse". I hope you are not too discouraged by that!

Of course, one of those making the allegations is not the infamous Darrel Hair but another umpire who is more renowned for being found guilty of child abuse. And surprisingly, the Aussie media seem to have conveniently forgotten this fact for that is never mentioned in their campaign against you.

The other issue which we must raise is whether we should be playing in Australia at all. Remember the time when a bomb exploded in Colombo they boycotted their World Cup matches?

Well, it is almost the same scenario in Australia now with its government warning its own citizens that a terrorist attack is imminent. And, just two months ago a bomb exploded in Indonesia but its target was mostly Australians holidaying there. So, I'd rather suggest that we say it is unsafe to travel to Australia now and call it a day!

We know you have not started playing Down Under just yet because you are recovering from recent surgery, but my other concern is whether there are those who are willing to stand up to the pressure if matters get out of control. When that happened the last time you were here, Captain Cool handled it "pretty well", but I'm not so sure whether we can be that confident now!

We all know that you have been brought up in the best traditionsof playing the game well, regardless of winning or losing but it would also be interesting to see what Velu thinks of all this too now that he has watered down some of his earlier demands. Some are suggesting that apart from autonomy and a police force and a court system he would ask for a separate cricket team too- what would you say to that, Murali?

Anyway, best of luck. The way we are performing at the moment, you would need all of it, I guess. Just remember, the last time the Aussies tried to harass us we went on to beat them and win the World Cup. They don't seem to have learnt their lesson, so maybe history will repeat itself!

Yours Truly,
Punchi Putha.
PS- We know that you are proud of the fact that your father owns a sweets factory. But sometimes I feel you would have been better off if he were a politician. That way, you could corner the Umpire who called you a chucker, taken him to a toilet and assaulted him and then got away scot free too!

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