Murali roars in for Lyon
Murali roars in for Lyon

Bowling great Muttiah Muralitharan will help Australia's Test spinner Nathan Lyon develop a secret weapon to succeed on the subcontinent.

The Sri Lankan spinner, who is teaching 26-year-old Lyon to add the "carrom ball" to his arsenal, predicted he would not be met with any hostility from Australian cricket fans over his appointment as a specialist coach by Cricket Australia yesterday.

Muralitharan's expertise will be used to help Australia prepare for the tour of the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan from late September in a plan cooked up by coach Darren Lehmann and Test captain Michael Clarke.

The all-time highest Test match wicket-taker said he had happily accepted the offer, despite once threatening not to tour Australia again as abuse over his bowling action reached a peak.

Muralitharan was first no-balled for throwing by umpire Darrell Hair while playing in the 1995 Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

Muralitharan said he had received a warm reception in Australia while playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.

"I don't have any hard feelings by what has happened," he said.

Muralitharan said he believed Lyon was the long-term answer for Australian cricket and should be playing in more than just one format of the game.

"For a country like Australia, you don't need many spinners," Muralitharan said.

"You need to get the right one. I think Nathan Lyon is the answer - for any format. He spins the ball and he's confident and he has taken more than 100 wickets in Test cricket. He's proved himself."

Despite the praise, Muralitharan has ruled out being able to teach the New South Welshman the doosra - a ball made famous by the Sri Lankan master - because of their different techniques.

"The doosra is very difficult to teach because he's a finger spinner and I'm a wrist spinner," Muralitharan said. "We're trying something else - the carrom ball. I think he'd be ready and bowl that in the UAE, but he'll master it in years to come."

The new delivery being tried by Australia's 33-Test spinner is typically released by flicking it between the thumb and a bent middle finger. India's Ravichandran Ashwin has used the delivery to great effect.

Muralitharan has already started working with Lyon and Victorian James Muirhead from his base in Sri Lanka.

·Bangladesh cricket authorities have banned former Test captain Mohammad Ashraful, 29, for eight years after he was found guilty of match-fixing during a domestic Twenty20 tournament.

And former Sussex and Pakistan A bowler Naveed Arif, 32, was yesterday banned for life after being found guilty of match- fixing. Arif's ban by the England and Wales Cricket Board related to a 40-over fixture between Sussex and Kent in August 2011.

The West Australian

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