Mumbai: Cricket legend Muttiah Muralidaran is getting a biopic with actor Madhurr Mittal of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ fame, stepping into the lead role.
The first look of the film was unveiled on Monday on the occasion of the cricketer’s birthday.
Muttiah Muralidaran, the spin wizard, was rated the greatest Test Match bowler by Wisden’s Cricketers Almanack in 2002. In 2017, he was the first Sri Lankan cricketer to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Actor Madhurr Mittal is delighted to have landed this opportunity. He said: “It’s an honour to bring the story of a legend like Muralidaran on screen. We all know him as a cricketer, but there’s a lot in the film about him as a person who has beaten the odds to come up triumphant in life which will inspire generations of youngsters down the decades.”
The Tamil film, titled ‘800’, is a sports drama, and will chronicle the journey of Murali amidst a Civil War to becoming one of the most successful bowlers ever, the highest wicket taker who averaged six wickets per Test match.
The film is titled after the record number of wickets Murali took in Test cricket.
‘800’ is written and directed by M.S. Sripathy , and will release in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu.
Speaking about his inspirational muse, Sripathy said, “‘800’ is not just a story around Murali’s cricket career, but a story of human courage. The film is an inspiring story of a common man standing against all odds who became a legend through his grit and determination. ‘800’ captures the many faces of the legend that is Muttiah Muralidaran, a cricket icon from a war-torn Sri Lanka, who became the greatest wicket-taker of all time. For those who know nothing of cricket, it is a thrilling and poignant underdog tale. For those who have followed Murali’s turbulent career, it will show you the man behind the myth”.
Interestingly, Murali has his roots in Tamil Nadu. His grandparents were Indians taken to Sri Lanka by Britishers to work in tea plantations there.
Admirably, despite all the controversies, Murali topped ICC’s player rankings for Test bowlers for a record 1,711 days across 214 Test matches. In 2009, at home in Colombo, he scalped Gautam Gambhir to streak ahead of Wasim Akram’s 502 wicket haul to set a new ODI record.
The film, produced by Movie Train Motion Pictures and Vivek Rangachari, is slated to release this year.