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Vijay Sethupathy as Muttiah Muralitharan in ‘800’

News Link: Vijay Sethupathy as Muttiah Muralitharan in ‘800’

Former Sri Lankan cricketing great Muttiah Muralitharan says a planned film about his life will be released. Despite a massive backlash in south India which caused the lead actor to quit.

“I’ve been in so many controversies, not just cricketing. I have got through hurdles. This is just one of the many challenges I’ve faced,” says Muralitharan.

However the biopic of his life – entitled 800, a reference to his record-breaking 800 Test match wickets – may be his biggest block yet.

Shooting has yet to start, but when a film poster featuring popular south Indian actor Vijay Sethupathi in the lead role was released there was a massive outpouring of anger

The hashtag #ShameOnVijaySethupathi started trending across the state of Tamil Nadu, with many demanding that he turn down the role.

The film’s producers have called it a “sports biography”, intended to inspire young people. But critics fear a hagiography, an attempt to glorify someone who has become a controversial political issue.

Much of the outrage stems from Muralitharan’s comments at a presidential election event last year, at which he celebrated the end of the war in 2009 and supported the candidacy of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Mr Rajapaksa was the defence secretary when government forces crushed Tamil Tiger separatists in a brutal campaign that also left tens of thousands of civilians dead.

He said the “happiest day of my life” was in 2009 as the country could now “go on without fear”.

An estimated 40,000 Sri Lankan Tamil civilians are believed to have died in the last stages of the war. It has been an touching issue in Tamil Nadu, where the same language and ethnic identity are shared.

Compiled by – MK (Editor)

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News Link: Vijay Sethupathy as Muttiah Muralitharan in ‘800’

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