The world record breaking spin bowler defended his decision saying that while he accepted the 10 day job he will not be with the Australians when they play a series against Sri Lanka beginning this month.
The Australian team is currently in Sri Lanka for a series and Muralitharan’s involvement with the team drew strong reactions from many, including the President of Sri Lanka cricket Thilanga Sumathipala.
“After I retired from player cricket I was offered the role of consultant for some Indian provincial teams and then the Australian team,” Muralitharan told reporters in the central town of Kandy.
In 1995 Muralitharan was accused by Australia of having an illegal bowling action but the then Sri Lanka cricket board and the whole nation backed the bowler and he was eventually cleared by cricket’s world ruling body.
Muralitharan says by inviting him to be a consultant of the Australian national team, Australia has accepted that his bowling is legal and so he felt it was a good move to accept the job.
The world record breaking bowler also said that after he had retired from the game in 2011 he was invited only once to be a consultant of the Sri Lankan national team and he accepted the role temporarily free of charge.
However he says since then he has not been invited to be part of Sri Lankan cricket and other top local players who were invited, like Mahela Jayawardena, Marvan Atapattu, Chandika Hathurusinghe and Chaminda Vaas, were later sacked.
“They don’t give them opportunities and don’t want them to coach others either. They get foreign coaches and pay them a lot,” he said.
He also noted that Sri Lanka will not be able to lose a match just because he coached Australia for ten days. (Colombo Gazette)