Melbourne, Mar 1 (ANI): Cricket Australia's blueprint for spin reform suffered a heavy blow when Test cricket's greatest wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan cancelled his contract to mentor Australia's next generation of spinners at the Brisbane-based Centre of Excellence.
The spin legend had earlier intimated a desire to tutor Australia's next generation of emerging spinners in June, but has now opted to play Twenty20 cricket instead in India and England.
Muralitharan's snub comes at the worst possible time for Australian cricket, which is conducting a sweeping performance review, including addressing the nation's depleted slow-bowling stocks that have seen Test selectors deploy 10 spinners since Shane Warne retired in 2007.
The Daily Telegraph quoted Muralitharan's manager as saying that the spin legend would not visit Australia due to his commitments with IPL side Kochi and county side Gloucestershire.
"Unfortunately, Murali will not be able to make it. Cricket Australia wanted him to come down for a particular period of time, but it doesn't go down well with the IPL and his Gloucestershire assignments," said his agent Kashil Gunasekera.
"They (CA) wanted him to come at the end of May but then everything changed with prior commitments he had undertaken. They were trying to figure out another time, but it just couldn't be finalized," he added.
The Sri Lankan legend was also expected to record a spin-coaching tutorial during his visit so his remarkable knowledge would never be lost to the Australian system. (ANI)