Wrong ’un on Murali biopic

Legendary spin bowler and bowling coach of the Sunrisers Hyderabad Muttiah Muralitharan, landed in a controversy over the making of a biopic as an Indian-origin Tamil cricketer from Sri Lanka’s Kandy.

While the cricketer’s success to the top after battling various challenges makes for an excellent subject for a movie, some Tamil nationalists are targeting Muralitharan for not acknowledging the struggles of Tamils in northern part of Sri Lanka during the 26-year civil war.

Muralitharan is the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 800 wickets, and the movie is named ‘800’.

In a statement issued on Friday, Murali, however, asked whether it was his fault to be born a Sri Lankan Tamil? “When the production house approached me for the film, I was first reluctant to give my nod. I then thought that the film would highlight the struggle of my parents, the contribution of my coaches and teachers and everyone who have been part of my journey. My family had its humble beginnings in a tea estate in Sri Lanka. The most affected in the 30-year long civil war in Sri Lanka were the Hill Country Tamils. Our life began in a conflict zone. The film ‘800’ talks about how I overcame all these hurdles and managed to succeed in cricket. Is it my fault that I was born a Sri Lankan Tamil?,” Muralitharan said.

The first poster and the trailer of the biopic, titled 800, which has Tamil star Vijay Sethupathi enacting Muralitharan was released on Tuesday. Soon after the project was announced, #ShameonVijaySethupathi started trending on Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday.


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