No comments on chucking storm: Howard

Published: Sunday, May 16, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Australian Prime Minister John Howard has backed away from the furore he ignited by calling Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan a chucker.

Howard, who sparked the debate last week at a meeting of his Liberal party faithful on the New South Wales south coast, had nothing further to say after his comments set off a storm of indignation in Sri Lanka.

Muralitharan has subsequently threatened to boycott Sri Lanka's two Test tour to Australia in June and July because of Howard's remarks.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said on Sunday that Howard had no further comment to make on the matter.

Sri Lanka Cricket has backed Muralitharan, saying it would support the world record Test wicket-taker if he sought to be excused from the Tests in Darwin and Cairns.

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