ICC would take 'doosra' out of Murali's reach

Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 19:04 [IST]
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London :In a major blow to record-breaking Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday said the present regulations governing the degree to which a bowler can straighten his arm will not be relaxed and strictly enforced.

Detailing its position in the wake of media speculation, the ICC said in a statement in London on Wednesday that the current levels of tolerance reflect the reality that most bowlers straighten their arm to some degree when bowling.

"These current levels of tolerance are based on expert advice that suggests beyond a certain level, bowlers will gain an unfair advantage. In the case of spin bowlers, the allowable level of straightening is five degrees," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed in a statement.

The ICC also made it clear that it had not yet received the report prepared by the University of Western Australia and that the decision or action arising from the report will be the responsibility of the Sri Lanka Cricket.

ICC's clarification comes after the biomechanics team that studied Muralitharan's action reportedly suggested that present level of tolerance be relaxed upto 10 degrees which would make the off spinner's away going delivery legal.

The Sri Lankan, who became the quickest bowler to reach the 500-wicket mark in Test cricket and is currently six short of West Indian Courtney Walsh's world record of 519, was reported by Match Referee Chris Broad for suspect bowling action.

Broad said his 'doosra' was not in accordance with the laws of the game.

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