Colombo, July 25: Spin legend Muttaiah Muralitharan, who is working as a spin consultant with the Australians, today (July 25) dismissed accusations of highhandedness levelled against him by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) ahead of the three-Test series beginning tomorrow (July 26).
SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala had accused Muralitharan of forcibly entering the Pallekele Stadium, the venue of the first Test, for training with the Australians in defiance of the authorities.
Muralitharan rejected these allegations while also dismissing suggestions that he had changed the nature of the track provided for the 3-day practice match at the P Sara Stadium to the advantage of the Australians.
"This is only a 10-day stint that I have agreed with the Australians. If my own country asks for my services I will be happy to give my services," Murali told reporters.
He said he was never seriously approached by Sri Lanka Cricket for a mentoring role ever since he retired in 2011. He faulted the Sri Lankan team management for ill-treating several other past cricketers.
"We know what happened to Marvan Atapattu, Chaminda Vaas, Chandika Hathrusinghe, Upul Chandana and Ruwan Kalpage. Their services were obtained and sacked after a while. They only want to employ foreign coaches and pay them in dollars," Muralitharan said.
He was responding to comments by Sri Lanka Cricket Chairman Sumathipala who said he was saddened by Muralitharan's decision to mentor the Australians against his own country.