Sydney: Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss has said that his team is fast approaching the end of an era as legendary spinner Muttiah Muralidaran gears up for his final tour of Australia.
Bayliss described Muralidaran as irreplaceable, and said that the 38-year-old was looking forward to his final tour of Australia.
"He loves coming to Australia. The two (warm-up) matches we`ve played so far he`s been well received and he`s bowling well. No one`s ever going to be able to replace someone of the calibre of Murali and his character as well," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Bayliss, as saying.
"You could say he`s the lifeblood of Sri Lankan cricket, as in the past they`ve had (Sanath) Jayasuriya and (Chaminda) Vaas as well. It`s coming to the end of a little bit of an era there I suppose, you know from the `96 World Cup (winning) team."
"Between those guys and Murali, they`ve really put Sri Lankan cricket on the map and it will be a sad day for Sri Lankan cricket when the last of those guys retire," he added.
The 38-year-old has not played an ODI for Sri Lanka since the Asia Cup in June, where he took just three wickets in three matches at an average of 47.66.
Sri Lanka will play their first match of the tour on October 31.