Shastri Ka Doosra

This report appeared in wisden-cricinfo on August 12, 2004. Even though Shastri was not a big spinner of a cricket ball (he is better known as the strokeless bore of Indian cricket), it is indeed commendable that Shastri came out to bat (bowl) for Murali.

Shastri feels that Murali is being singled out

Ravi Shastri believes that Muttiah Muralitharan is being needlessly victimised mainly because he is an Asian. While admitting that Murali's action wasn't without its kinks, Shastri said that there were quite a few bowlers who were "no different from him".

"I don't find anything wrong with his bowling action," said Shastri, speaking at a function to promote the ICC Champions Trophy in Bangalore. "I have no problems with his offbreak. He is an Asian, and that has ruffled quite a few feathers."

A week ago, Murali became the first Sri Lankan to sign with an India-based company when he joined hands with Showdiff Worldwide - Shastri is a vice-chairman - to "explore commercial interests".

According to Shastri, Murali wouldn't have been singled out if he hadn't taken a significant number of wickets in his career. "Muralitharan is being targeted because he is a very successful bowler," he said. He was also critical of the different degrees of flexion that were allowed for fast bowlers and spinners and didn't think there was a need for "different yardsticks".


This is another report that appeared in The Hindu on 30th July 2004. Shastri doesn't care whether Murali chucks or bowls, as long as there is a Kaching in Shastri's bowl. These are the modern day cricket mercenaries masquerading as a honourable former cricketers.

Showdiff deal with Muralitharan

Mumbai , July 30

SHOWDIFF Worldwide, the talent management agency promoted by Ravi Shastri and Rediffusion DYR, has signed an agreement with Sri Lankan cricketer Muthiah Muralitharan.

The deal marks the first instance of a Sri Lankan cricketer exploring commercial interests in India. Under the agreement, Showdiff will handle all commercial endorsements and marketing commitments for the bowler in India.

Muralitharan is currently the joint world record holder for the maximum number of wickets (527) taken in Test matches.

Speaking about the rationale behind his agreement with Showdiff, Muralitharan said: "India is a huge market with multiple opportunities, and I had been looking at options which would benefit me. Showdiff Worldwide has an all-India presence, which would help me reach out to marketers across the country."

Currently in Sri Lanka commenting on the ongoing Indian Oil Asia Cup, Ravi Shastri, Vice-Chairman of Showdiff Worldwide, said: "Murali is one of the most talented cricketers of all time, and it's great to have him on board."

Muralitharan is currently associated with the UN Team dedicated to eradicating hunger from developing nations.

Mr Jaiveer Panwar, Vice-President, Showdiff Worldwide, said: "Our experience of having worked with celebrities will help us provide the strategic direction and necessary inputs to Muralitharan. We will continuously churn out innovative ideas that could then be leveraged to suit the brand persona of the `smiling assassin,' as Murali is popularly referred to by team-mates. My dilemma now is whether to cheer for my country or my client during the Indian Oil Asia Cup final on Sunday!"

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