Murali exclusive: Legendary spinner excited ahead of IPL

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Muttiah Muralitharan says he is excited to get started in the Indian Premier League - but admits he is disappointed that more Sri Lankan and English players aren't taking part.

The 41-year-old was snapped up again by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL auction last month, having warmed up for the tournament by turning out for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.

Despite the scheduling problems that the IPL is facing, Murali says he can't wait to get going in the world's leading club T20 tournament.

He told GiveMeSport: "I’m so happy to get in the same team."

"I bowled really well in the Big Bash [for the Melbourne Renegades]. Unfortunately, our team didn’t qualify for the finals.

"But in the Caribbean Premier League last year, I bowled really well and we [Jamaica Tallawahs] won the tournament.

"I’m looking very fit this year and hopefully I’ll bowl well if I get the opportunity."

The great and good of world cricket will take part in the 7th edition of the big-money tournament - with a few obvious exceptions.

Only three Sri Lankan players will take part -  Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera and Murali himself - while Kevin Pietersen, recently released from his central contract, is the only Englishman that will be on display.

Murali admits that it is a shame that more players from both countries won't be present.

"It was disappointing how Sri Lankan cricketers didn’t get picked," he explained.

"It was the same with English players and this is down to availability. A lack of availability means they put a higher reserve price, which makes people reticent to buy them, so they’re unsold. That’s why they don’t get picked much."

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