Caps also awarded to Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly
Presentation Cap to Muttiah Muralitharan
Sri Lankan spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan
on Sunday became the sixth player to be awarded a Sir Donald Bradman
Art of Cricket cap, in recognition of his achievements in the international
"Murali, for me, shows perhaps the highest discipline of any spin bowler since the war," Bradman told his publisher, Tom Thompson, in conversation before his death. "He holds all the guile of the trade, but something else too. His slight stature masked a prodigious talent, and what a boon he has been for cricket's development on the subcontinent."
The caps were made in 1998 to be given by Thompson, to cricketers who played attractive cricket, advancing the game throughout the world. Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar was the first recipient of a cap in March, shortly after the Australian legend's death at the age of 92.
"His is the stuff of our greatest slow bowlers," Bradman told Thompson, "and for me, Murali is one, like O'Reilly, Warne or Trumble, who are game-breakers. They detect and then imagine the batsman's weakness, perhaps in an over or two. What a weapon for any captain: to have the discipline to contain, and then bamboozle."
Muralitharan was overwhelmed by the presentation of the cap, in the colours of Bradman's first Sydney club St George, made by CricketLine editor Martin Gough.
"It's a great honour," he said. "To get a Test average of 99.94, [Bradman] must have been the best ever." Muralitharan said that he would have liked to have pitted his skill against that of Bradman. Would he have got The Don out?
"You never know," said the diminutive spinner.