Gilchrist labels Muralitharan a chucker: report

Published: Sunday, May 26, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Perth: Australian Test vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has reportedly labelled star Sri Lankan off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan a 'chucker', the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said on Sunday. Gilchrist, currently rated the world's top batsman, made the accusation while speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Carlton Football (Australian Rules) Club in Melbourne, the report said. The ABC said Gilchrist had been reported to have told his audience that Muralitharan's delivery did not comply with the game's rules. Gilchrist's criticism comes just over two months after former Indian spin ace Bishen Bedi attacked Muralitharan's action.Bedi, who took 266 wickets for India in the 1960s and 70s, said Muralitharan's action looked more like that of a javelin thrower than a bowler. Bedi criticised the International Cricket Council (ICC) for allowing bowlers with suspect actions to play at international level. Muralitharan, 30, has come under the watchful eye of the ICC several times but is currently clear to play international cricket. Sidelined recently with a dislocation and torn ligaments in his left shoulder, he is hoping to play in the second Test against England starting at Edgbaston May 30. He had been having treatment in Australia before flying to England a week ago. He received the injury during the Sharjah Cup final against Pakistan last month. Muralitharan has taken 412 wickets in 73 Tests at an average of 23.38. He has taken five wickets in an innings 33 times and has had 10-wicket hauls in a match 10 times. Muralitharan said during his recent Australian visit he was aiming for 600 Test wickets, but did not believe his career would last long enough to take 1,000 scalps. He recently became the youngest player ever to reach 400 Test wickets. He has averaged about 80 wickets per year recently and is now only 107 behind all-time record-holder Courtney Walsh, of the West Indies. Muralitharan and Australian leg spinner Shane Warne (450) seem certain to overtake Walsh in the next couple of years, fitness permitting. Warne, 32, is favourite get there first because Australia has a busy program in the next 12 months including 12 Tests against Pakistan, England and the West Indies.

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