The irony is obvious, particularly so when the “chucker” is all set to become the trainer.
Muthiah Muralitharan, cricket's wicket-taking machine, was accused for over a decade of chucking by many in Australian cricket and was even despised by its paying public. Now he will go to Australia — to teach Aussie hopefuls spin bowling!
Australian Broadcasting Corporation said on Wednesday that Murali's technique would be recorded and downloaded into the Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence ‘virtual bowler' machine.
Asked if there was some sense of poetic justice in this, Murali, said he did not want to dwell on the past. “I want to look at the future. The past is gone. So we don't need to think anything about the past,” he said.
Murali's bent-arm bowling action was caused by a deformity from birth. But that has not stopped cricketers of the stature of Adam Gilchrist and fast bowler Jason Gillespie from making nasty remarks against him.
Neither has it prevented over-zealous umpires like Darrell Hair and Ross Emerson from calling him for throwing. Hair once commented that Murali's action was “diabolical.”
Asked if he was looking forward to being back in Australia, Murali said he was still looking at accommodating Australia's needs with that of his calendar.
“Yeah, they have offered me [the job]. We are waiting till the dates are finalised. If the dates are finalised and if I am comfortable, I will definitely take it.”
Asked what Australia's spinning problems were, he said “actually, until I go and see I will not know what the problem is.
“You will have to train more young bowlers to bowl spin in their academies and other stages the game offers.”
Murali's preliminary diagnosis of the problems in Australia was that since most wickets were fast-bowler friendly, most youngsters took to fast bowling.
“So it was natural that every kid tried to bowl fast. In Sri Lanka, every kid wants to bowl spin. That is the difference in mentality. So you have to change the mentality,” he said.