An In-conversation session with legendary cricketer, Muthiah Muralitharan, also joined by Madhurr Mittal who portrays Murali in the biopic of the spin wizard, A Legendary 800 – Against all odds, was one of the highlights of 54th International Film festival of India in Goa today.

The session moderated by Komal Nahta, delved into the depths of Murali’s journey from obscurity to becoming a cricketing legend.

Sharing his incredible story, one that began amidst the backdrop of war and uncertainty in Sri Lanka and defying all odds to become a cricketing legend, Murali said, “Cricket was my solace during those tumultuous times,” reminiscing about his childhood dreams that never included playing for his school, let alone representing his country.

Discussing the upcoming biopic that chronicles his life, Murali emphasised the importance of authenticity. “It’s not about glorification; it’s about truth,” he affirmed, having meticulously scrutinised the script multiple times to ensure the narrative stayed faithful to his struggles and triumphs.

Speaking about the ‘chucking controversy’ over his bowling action in Australia in 1995, Murali claimed that it was done purposefully to put him down. He said “it was a heartbreak but I didn’t give up and continued with active support from my fellow team-mates and the cricket board.”

Talking about his struggles and topsy turvy incidents in cricketing life, Murali said that the worst incident in his cricketing history was the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan.

For philanthropic work, Murali has been running a charitable organisation Foundation of Goodness. The organisation is committed to the well-being of the Seenigama region and supports local communities through a range of projects across areas including children’s needs, education and training, health care and psycho-social support, housing, livelihood, sport and the environment.

The director of the film Sripathy M revealed that the film is not merely portraying a celebrity cricketer but encapsulating the seismic events and struggles that shaped Muralitharan’s extraordinary life. “The film aims to capture the essence of a legend whose journey was as dramatic off the field, as it was on”, he articulated.

For making a biopic, Sripathy revealed, “there is no template or screenplay format. We wanted to make a truthful story of a legend, whose personal and professional life is too dramatic to handle.”


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