Australia hire Muttiah Muralitharan as bowling consultant for Sri Lanka series
The Australian Team is taking every possible measure to make their Sri Lanka tour a successful one. The Australia squad is embarking on a two-month Tour of Sri Lanka that features three Tests, five ODIs and a couple of T20 internationals and to help the players get a better insight on the conditions in Sri Lanka, the Australian team have roped in legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
Australian skipper Steve Smith welcomed the appointment and said that Aussie spinners will learn a lot from the legendary spinner.
“He’s got a lot of experience here in Sri Lanka. He took a truckload of wickets. It’s great to have someone like that helping our spinners in this series – to give us that insight. He’s been really good around the group so far, and he’s enjoying his time with us,” Smith said in a press conference on Wednesday (July 13).
This is not the first time a retired Sri Lankan cricketer has imparted his knowledge to other teams. Earlier, former batsman Mahela Jayawardene was roped in by England as their batting consultant. The move did not go down too well with Sri Lanka Cricket and they expressed their disappointment over the move. Muralitharan’s appointment might not go down too well either but Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews seemed fine with it.
“Well, he’s a professional and he’s coaching now. I think helping Australia out with insight – he’s got so much experience – it will be a great help for them to get some advice,” Mathews said.
Muralitharan, who was IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling coach in this year’s edition, said that he is not keen on a full-time coaching job and so being hired for a short time by the Australian team is fine for him.
“I have not involved in Sri Lankan cricket at all because there are (other) people who are involved. I don’t want to disturb those things because I got an opportunity to do things in India, mostly in the IPL, and now coaching in Kolkata (as a consultant with the Cricket Association of Bengal’s development program) as a spin coach.
“Then, on and off, Australia offered me twice so I said ‘why not’ because you are passing on the knowledge to other people. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your country or other people. I think giving quality time to my family is most important, that’s why I take smaller jobs – two weeks, three weeks (stints as a consultant) because those sort of jobs are not available in Sri Lanka,” Muralitharan told cricket.com.au.
Earlier, Australia hired former Indian spin bowler Sridharan Sriram and ex-Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera to help batsmen tackle spinners on turning pitches.
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