Who Said What: World reacts to Muttuiah Muralitharan's role as a spin consultant for the Austalian Team
Former Sri-Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was earlier roped in by Cricket Australia as their bowling consultant ahead of Australia’s tour to the Asian island. The Sri-Lankan Cricket board expressed grief about the matter that a countryman is helping out its rival team. The spin legend is the record holder for taking the most number of wickets taken in Tests and in ODIs.
The Sri-Lanka Cricket President Thilanga Sumathipala said that Muralitharan has let his fans down by helping a country where he was accused of cheating during the 1990s. He was accused of chucking during his tour to Australia in 1995 and also in 1999 by Australian umpires. His role as a spin consultant ended before the start of the first Test.
This is not the first time that the Kandy-born cricketer has played such a role. Two years back, he acted as a consultant for the Australian team in the build up to their Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Sri-Lanka captain Angelo Matthews admits it is not a big issue:
As per the reports of news.com.au, Sri-Lankan captain Angelo Matthews said on the eve of the opening Test that he had no problem with his former teammate over his decision to help Australian spinners, adding that the former player was entitled to take up job with any team in the world.
Rex Clemente, journalist (The Island):
Rex Clemente, a Sri-Lanka based journalist of The Island said, “The bigger issue here is that Sri Lanka and Australia are playing for a trophy named after two of the greatest spinners to play the game – Muralitharan and (Shane) Warne. So when a trophy is being dedicated to your name, joining the rival camp obviously upset people.”
Kumar Sangakkara supported his former team-mate and posted the following tweets:
Indian Sports Writer Ayaz Menon tweets:
Muttiah Muralitharan’s father Sinnasamy Muttiah said he is going to support Australia:
“I’ll be watching on TV. My support was with Sri Lanka. Now I am supporting Australia. I will be encouraging my son" as said to the Herald Sun.
Australia is scheduled to play 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and 2 T20Is as a part of their tour. Before this series, Sri-Lanka toured England where they were thrashed by the hosts in all the three formats. After the retirement of greats like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, and Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri-Lanka has struggled to establish themselves as a strong team.