There will be none like Sachin Tendulkar; I am his huge fan: Muttiah Muralitharan at ‘800’ Trailer event
Muttiah Muralitharan, the legendary off-spinner, is the only bowler in the history of International Test cricket to take 800 wickets. An authentic biopic on him has been made. Titled ‘800’, its trailer was today released by Movie Train Motion Pictures in the presence of ‘God of Cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar. The trailer launch event took place in Mumbai. Madhur Mittal of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ fame is essaying the role of Muralidharan in the film. Mahima Nambiar plays Madhimalar Ramamurthy, the former cricketer’s wife, in it. Directed by MS Sripathy, the film is co-written by the Booker Prize (2022) laureate Shehan Karunatilaka. Senior Tollywood producer Sivalenka Krishna Prasad of Sridevi Movies is presenting this October release and is releasing it across the country in multiple languages.
Speaking at the event, ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar described Muralitharan as a dear friend. “People should know what happened in his life. I met Muralitharan for the first time in the year 1993. Since then our friendship has become stronger. Last month, I went to Sri Lanka on a UNICEF assignment. It is at that time I came to know that Muralitharan was in India in connection with his biopic. He asked me if I can attend the trailer launch event. Despite achieving so much in life, he is such a simple man. It’s hard to say no to such a person. I am here only for him. There are ups and downs in any career. Sometimes, we get disappointed with our game. The hallmark of a true player is to stand up and keep going. Muralitharan is such a talent. No matter the pitch, he could turn the ball. We at Team India used to discuss how to counter him. Harbhajan Singh told me Muralitharan happened to do rigorous practice in the nets for 18 months before making his debut in International cricket. He bowled 10,500 overs in international matches. If we take first-class cricket, there will be another 10,000 overs to his kitty,” Sachin said.
Muttiah Muralitharan began his speech by thanking Sachin Tendulkar for supporting his film. “I am a Sachin fan myself. No one can achieve what he has pulled off in cricket. Even after another hundred years, a cricketer and a human like Sachin will not be there. Sachin taught us how to play cricket and how to stay grounded. He is the best ever. Another Sachin will not be born. If you are enjoying while playing the game, then don’t think about the result of the match. Stop thinking about performance and just enjoy the game. I stayed in a hostel for about 12 years. Sharing and enjoying with others has become a habit. While Brian Lara and Rahul Dravid scored runs in my bowling, they couldn’t decode my style. Only Sachin could,” he added.
Presenter Sivalenka Krishna Prasad said that he felt lucky to release the trailer in the presence of Sachin, the recipient of Bharat Ratna. “This is a film filled with an emotional journey. Muttiah Muralitharan’s biopic will make an impression on the minds of the audience,” the senior Tollywood producer said.
Director MS Sripathy said, “We have been waiting for this moment for long. I knew that the biopic of a legend like Murali should be of the best quality. I got good support from my technical team. Boundaries like caste, religion, language, and nation are created by us humans. None of those barriers is greater than humanity. ‘800’ tells a human story. It is the story of a legendary cricketer who overcame the adversities faced by him and created an identity for himself. There is no better person than Sachin Tendulkar to launch the trailer of such a biopic. Sachin serves as an inspiration to many people, including myself. When we went to Goa to shoot this film, we deliberately visited Sachin’s favorite restaurant. We were shocked to know that king crab is Sachin’s favorite dish. I also thank filmmakers Venkat Prabhu and Pa Ranjith for being here today. Vivek Rangachari is the one who made this project come to fruition. This movie is being presented by Sivalenka Krishna Prasad, the supremo of Sridevi Movies. I sincerely thank him for trusting us. He is releasing this movie across languages.”
Kollywood filmmaker Venkat Prabhu said, “MS Sripathy was my first assistant director. Our film ‘Saroja’ was released 15 years ago on this day. I and Pa Ranjith are very happy to be on this stage today for Sripathy. Muralidharan’s wife Madimalar is my childhood friend. I was supposed to direct the biopic. I think Sripathy has done a better job than I could have. It was me who introduced him to Muralitharan.”
‘Kabali’ director Pa Ranjith said that Muralitharan would have played for India had he been born in Chennai.
Actor Madhur Mittal said that he approached the role of Muralitharan with a great sense of responsibility. “I still can’t believe I got that chance. I followed the instructions given by our captain (referring to the director of the film),” he added.
Former cricketer Sanath Jayasurya, maker Vivek Rangachari, Mahima Nambiar, Pankaj of UFO Movies, and others participated in the event.
Madhur Mittal, Mahima Nambiar, Naren, Nassar, Vela Ramamoorthy, Riythvika, Vadivukkarasi, Arul Das, Hari Krishnan, Sarath Lohithaswa and others.
Editor: Praveen KL; Cinematographer: R.D. Rajasekhar; Music Director: Ghibran; Writer-Director: MS Sripathy.