Mumbai: Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan was all praise for Rashid Khan, who has been in the headlines in the last few days for playing a vital role in the team's wins in their first two games of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League so far.
The young leg-spinner from Afghanistan, who had been picked up by the franchise for a whopping Rs 4 crore, has impressed one and all in both games played by the David Warner-led side so far. Muralitharan, who had been appointed as the bowling coach and team mentor in the 2015 edition of the tournament, described the purchasing of Rashid's services as a 'good signing'.
"I’ve seen him for only two days. We chose him because we saw him playing international cricket, and bowling well to good players and we thought he’s something special, and he’s different from other leg-spinners because he bowls a little quicker than the others, and he has some variations.
"He’s done his part in the first two matches and done well for us, and it’s a good signing because we thought he’d do well, so he’s fulfilling our expectations," the Sri Lankan spin legend was quoted as saying at a press conference in Mumbai.
Asked about dearth of Sri Lankan spinners in IPL, Murali rued that once they start producing quality tweakers, they will be picked up by IPL franchises.
On the lack of Sri Lankan spinners in the league at the moment, Muralitharan remarked that the island nation was suffering from a lack of talent. He went on to add that if they started producing quality tweakers like they did back in the previous couple of decades, then they would surely find bidders in the league.
"Obviously, we don't have talent back home. So actually, we are lacking (quality spinners). We had great teams, great players but they all retired. New guys are coming up but until they perform, franchises won't pick them," Muralitharan was quoted as saying.
For Murali, the private leagues like Natwest T20 Blast, Ram Slam T20 or Big Bash won't be big hits outside their regions unless top Indian players are allowed by BCCI to participate in these tourneys.
While the Sri Lankan legend was all praise for Ravichandran Ashwin's form during India's home Test season, he would ideally like to judge him once the burly Tamil Nadu lad hits the road outside the sub-continent.