Sydney: Mar 1, 2011
Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan has pulled out of mentoring Australia's emerging spin bowling talents, after other commitments clashed with his visit Down Under, a report said Tuesday. The world's leading wicket-taker had been set to spend several weeks at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane mentoring the nation's young spinners, Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.
"Unfortunately, Murali will not be able to make it," the cricketer's agent Kashil Gunasekera told the newspaper, citing prior commitments with Indian Premier League team Kochi and English county side Gloucestershire.
"Cricket Australia wanted him to come down for a particular period of time but it doesn't go down well with the IPL and his Gloucestershire assignments. They (CA) wanted him to come at the end of May but then everything changed with prior commitments he had undertaken. They were trying to figure out another time, but it just couldn't be finalised," he added.
Muralitharan has at times endured a strained relationship with Australia after being called for throwing by umpire Darrell Hair in 1995 and heckled by Australian fans.
But Gunasekera insisted the decision had nothing to do with this and that Muralitharan was keen to visit Australia and tutor young bowlers. "He was very pleased with the invitation and he was going to consent to it but the dates clashed," he said.
"He's willing to help anyone, that's his philosophy. But after the World Cup, the IPL starts on April 7 and goes until the end of May and by June 1 he has to go to Gloucestershire."
Muralitharan's help would have been an important coup for despondent Australia, mulling depleted spin stocks since the retirement of Shane Warne in 2007 and following their crushing Ashes series defeat by England this year.
The 38-year-old Muralitharan, who has a world record 800 wickets in Tests and 521 wickets in one-day internationals, is currently part of the Sri Lanka World Cup squad.