In their playing days, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan were great on-field rivals. Both played a key role in re-shaping the art of spin bowling, and Muralitharan cannot come to terms that Warne is no more. 

“It is shocking and unbelievable. It is very painful for the entire fraternity and fans around the world. It is a big loss,” Muralitharan told  Sportstar  on Friday.


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In their playing days, Sri Lanka and Australia always had a fiery cricketing rivalry. But the two made sure that off the field, they did not have any animosity. “Media made it more competitive. We were playing for each other’s country and the target was always to bring out our best. We were competitive on the field but off the pitch, we were really good friends," Muralitharan said.

In 2007, Cricket Australia and Sri Lanka Cricket named the Test series between the two sides the Warne–Muralitharan Trophy in the duo's honour.

After retiring from international cricket, a decade ago, both Muralitharan and Warne played several legends tournaments overseas and their bonding only grew stronger over the years. They would even meet during the Indian Premier League (IPL) where Muralitharan was part of the coaching staff for Sunrisers Hyderabad, while Warne was associated with Rajasthan Royals. “He lived the life he wanted to. That’s the biggest thing. I am saying it again, 52 is not the age to die,” he said.