Bracewell hails Muralitharan impact at Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire director of cricket John Bracewell says the arrival of Sri Lankan spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan will have a huge impact on the side.

The world's leading wicket-taker will play Twenty20 at Nevil Road for the next two seasons.

"It's a huge coup for us," Bracewell told BBC Sport.

"He can infect our players with knowledge and his winning ethic. He's also a cricket geek as well as a cricket legend."

He continued: "We've got two ends of the scale with [second overseas player] Kane Williamson, who is just starting out in his career with a great work ethic.

"And you've got one of the legends of the game, who, along with Shane Warne, has done more for Test match cricket than any other cricketer in the history of the game.

"He knows everything, not only about what he's done but he knows which players are good players and he's already infecting us with his knowledge.

"The enjoyment of watching him bowl to our wicketkeeper for the first time - you cherish those moments and carry them through your career.

"In terms of value on the field, in the dressing room and through the gates, I think it's good value for money."

Muralitharan, 39, retired from Test cricket in 2010 after taking a record 800 wickets and played his last international for Sri Lanka in the World Cup final against India.

Bracewell believes the spinner can shine despite the bowling restrictions in the T20 format.

"If you look at the T20 statistics, it's amazing how many individuals do win matches," he said. "It's those individual performances that do make the difference so let's not underestimate that."

Muralitharan is set to make his debut for Gloucestershire in their opening game of the FL t20 against Surrey on Thursday and admitted he could not turn down the opportunity to come back and play in England, following spells at Lancashire and Kent.

"I was looking for somewhere to play Twenty20 and Gloucestershire came along with the first opportunity so I grabbed it," he said.

"I think I have one or two years left in me and I think I want to enjoy that time. I've had a lot of pressure on me in the last 20 years and now I can just enjoy playing for Gloucestershire.

"Hopefully it's going to be a wonderful day as my favourite ground is The Oval because I took 16 wickets in a Test matchexternal-link there, so I hope I can do well in the first game."