Murali to be Australia spin coach

Muttiah Muralitharan, the greatest wicket-taker in the history of cricket, will throw his support behind the next generation of Australian spin bowlers this June, Australian media reports.

In a move that is seen as a huge boost to Australia’s dwindling spin stocks, the Sri Lankan legend will spend several weeks at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane with our finest young prospects.

Muralitharan, who once threatened to never return to Australia after he was no-balled for throwing by umpires Darrell Hair and Ross Emerson and then taunted and heckled by crowds on subsequent tours, seems to have put that unpleasantness behind him and is reportedly keen to help out our rising stars.

The off-spinner will not only help those at the Centre of Excellence but will also record a tutorial for spinners of the future while he is here.

Australia selector Greg Chappell is being hailed as the man who made this happen and couldn’t be happier with his work.

“This is a wonderful opportunity, Murali has probably forgotten more about spin bowling than most people will ever know in a lifetime,” Chappell said.

“Murali is one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time, we are very, very lucky.

“It is not just Murali’s obvious physical skill that will be a huge benefit for our young spinners.

“It is also his mental toughness, his cleverness, his cunning and his ability to be able to set a batsman up and bowl 10-15 overs to a plan.”

The hope is that with the knowledge Murali imparts on the next generation is that Australia can find a true successor to the inimitable Shane Warne, something they have not been able to do since his retirement at the end of the 2006-07 Ashes series.

Jason Krejza, Nathan Hauritz, Xavier Doherty, Michael Beer, Bryce McGain, Daniel Cullen and Brad Hogg are some of the bowlers who have been tried since Warne finished up.

Muralitharan’s visit will come hot on the heels of his retirement from cricket with the upcoming World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to be his swan song.

Chappell said Murali’s coaching role would be confirmed once details were finalised in the next few weeks, Daily Telegraph and ninemsn reports.

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