He may one have been jeered by Australian fans as a "chucker". But now their country has finally acknowledged Muttiah Muralitharan for the off-spinning genius that he is. Murali is soon to coach the next generation of Aussie players in Cricket Australia's bid to build on the country's spin bowling stock, according to a report by a leading media agency.
The controversial Sri Lankan off-spinner will spend five weeks as a guest coach during an intensive training programme at the Brisbane Centre of Excellence in June.
Muralitharan, who had fruit thrown at him by unruly fans since being no-balled by umpire Darrell Hair in the 1995 Boxing Day Test, will become Australia's potential spin saviour, Herald Sun reported on Wednesday.
Greg Chappell, who is the only full-time national selector, arranged the visit. "This is a wonderful opportunity... Murali has probably forgotten more about spin bowling than most people will ever know in a lifetime," Chappell said.
The reduced spin stocks are one of the most serious issues facing Australian cricket, with 10 frontline spinners deployed at Test level since Shane Warne retired at the end of the 2006-07 home Ashes series.