Former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is back in Chennai, this time as the mentor of Thiruvallur Veerans in the upcoming Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). Veerans have officially announced the appointment of Muralitharan and Bharat Arun as mentor and coach respectively.
At an event in Chennai, the veteran spinner said he had fond memories of playing for Indian Premier League (IPL) side Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and working with VB Chandrasekar, who was part of the think tank of the IPL franchise in its initial years.
Muralitharan feels comfortable because of the fact that his wife Madhimalar hails from Chennai and their son Naren is a part of a training academy in the city. “I was picked in the inaugural IPL by CSK. I have a bonding with the city and the fans. Plus, I got to know VB. My son trains at his academy. So I thought why not be part of Thiruvallur Veerans,” Muralitharan was quoted saying by The New Indian Express.
Muralitharan said that the focus would be on winning games and preparing the players to bring out the best in the tournament. He believes his experience in a similar role at Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will come in handy and he does not see it as a burden coaching or mentoring various teams.
The 45-year-old was pleased about CSK's return to the IPL but when asked if CSK will be the same force they were, he answered, “It’ll be difficult, not the same as one thinks. You will have to start from scratch. For years, they kept their key players, but now the team is all scattered. I don’t know what rules and regulations are, with regards to retaining players. But they have a smart enough management staff and might get some good players. It may not be the same to start with, but will become good with time."
He said that he had a long-term contract with SRH, but was open to joining CSK if an opportunity arose in future.