Melbourne: An emergency dental operation helped Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan retain his toothy smile, almost by the skin of his teeth.
The toothy tweaker from Sri Lanka had his front tooth knocked back while fielding during Friday’s match against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Away from public eyes, the Lankan was rushed to the St Vincent’s Hospital where Sydney dentist Peter Foltyn, pressed into service when he was actually watching the match on television at home, completed the operation in under an hour to allow the cricketer return to bat in the match.
“I was peeling potatoes when I got the call from the SCG," Dr Foltyn was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.
“It was fortunate that I was available almost immediately.
“It took me about 10 minutes to get to St Vincent’s Hospital by car and Muralitharan was getting there as I
arrived," he said.
At the hospital, Dr Foltyn repositioned the tooth and splinted it but did not give any drugs to the player for that would have forced the player sit out of the remainder of the match.
Muralitharan eventually returned to ground and hit a six as well before getting out.
“He struck me as a very polite and humble person," Dr Foltyn said. “We chatted light-heartedly, but obviously he was there for a reason."