Chennai Super Kings was the best franchise I have played for: Muttiah Muralitharan
Cricketers who have played for Chennai Super Kings have been often heard saying that the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise has the best team environment of all. Former Sri Lanka bowling great Muttiah Muralitharan, who had played three seasons for the CSK, has also spoken highly of the franchise.
Muralitharan was part of the CSK in the first edition of the IPL and went on to play three seasons from 2008 to 2010. He picked up 40 wickets from 40 matches during his stint with the MS Dhoni-led team.
“Captaincy is about respecting the captain, whoever it is. We have to go by his decision. I prayed that if I come to the IPL, I have to go to Chennai, as I thought there will be Chennai people in the team,” Muralitharan said on the show Mind Masters by MFORE on Star Sports Tamil.
Muttiah Muralitharan went on to say that CSK was the best franchise he has ever played for.
“So, at that time, there was a good rule, where local players had to be in the team. The first three years was the best of the years because we could speak in our own language. We were around 7-8 people and even VB sir (VB Chandrasekhar) was there who selected us.”
The Sri Lankan off-spinner, who has 1,347 wickets to his name in international cricket, also talked about how dealing with mental pressure was one of the crucial aspects of professional cricket.
“In any game, 90% of the work is to be tactically and mentally fit. Only then can you play. When you are young, you won’t immediately think about that (being mentally fit) because of your interest and love for the game. Automatically, without being told, you’ll think about what to do and do it,” he said.
“But when you get into the professional level, it’s totally a mental game because of the pressure. A lot of cricketers who have good technique and haven’t dealt with this pressure have fallen off. So, the mental aspect is more important in any sport, not just cricket.”