Muralitharan criticized for helping Australians

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) Bowling great Muttiah Muralitharan has been attacked by Sri Lanka's cricket board chief for helping to coach the visiting Australian team.

The Sri Lankan is a bowling consultant to Australia, ahead of the first test starting Tuesday in Pallekele.

Thilanga Sumathipala said Muralitharan, who retired with a record 800 test wickets, had let down his fans by agreeing to help a country that he said had accused the bowler of cheating.

The board has also complained to Cricket Australia that Muralitharan allegedly tried to use unauthorized practice facilities for the Australian team and verbally abused Sri Lankan team manager Charith Senanayake.

Muralitharan, who denied Sumathipala's allegations, was called for throwing the ball illegally during his first tour to Australia in 1995 and later in 1999.