Gavaskar bats for ICC in Muralitharan~~s case

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Former captain and chairman of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) cricket committee, Sunil Gavaskar, has jumped to the defence of the game's governing body in the controversy surrounding Muttiah Muralitharan's suspect bowling action.

In a statement released by the ICC in London on Wednesday, Gavaskar claimed that the system helped not only to detect potentially flawed actions but also ensured the bowler involved could resume playing after getting his action corrected.

"The ICC has overhauled the way in which it deals with suspect actions and the revised system that is in place provides a sensible way of dealing with this issue," said Gavaskar.

"In the case of Muralitharan too, this assessment will take place over the coming six weeks as he works with a suitable expert group to address the concerns that have been raised and addresses any concerns that are identified."

The Sri Lankan off-spinner was reported to the ICC during the three-Test series against Australia by Match Referee Chris Broad who said the bowler's 'doosra' -- the away going delivery -- was not in accordance with the laws of cricket.

Gavaskar said a Match Referee was within his right to report on a bowler without being informed by the on-field umpires.

"Match officials are well within their rights to report actions or deliveries that are of concern to them," he said.

"We have already seen three bowlers reported over the past 12 months, all of whom are now back after making technical adjustments to their actions. It is in the overall interests of the game that potentially flawed actions are identified and addressed and the process that is in place ensures that this can take place."

"The application of the process over the past 12 months has shown that bowlers can make the necessary technical adjustments and return to the game if any flaws are identified.

"Where no flaws emerge, the system also ensures that match officials are in a better position to understand and deal with the particular actions of a particular bowler," Gavaskar said in the statement.

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