"Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has asked Murali not to bowl the doosra and the ICC endorses it. Murali has agreed to comply," ICC president Ehsan Mani said, seeking to put to rest the confusion created by contradictory remarks from various quarters including Sri Lanka Cricket and the player himself.
Mani said certain tolerance level was allowed for spinners but in Murali's case, it exceeded by about three times.
"Although it has now come down to double, it still does not conform to ICC regulations. But doosra is not banned. It is a perfectly normal bowling action, some do it very well," Mani told reporters in a tele-conference held to announce the launch of ICC Champions Trophy 2004.
"The ICC regulations regarding illegal bowling action is very simple. If a particular delivery does not conform to our regulations, it cannot be bowled," he said.
Mani also slammed politicians for sticking their necks into cricketing issues and asked them to refrain from making comments in the public domain.
"The Murali issue has been blown out of proportion by various remarks by various politicians," Mani said, referring to recent comments by the Australian and Sri Lankan Prime Ministers.
"It is disappointing that politicians and high-profile people are getting involved... It is not helpful. I wish they came and talked to us before making their comments in the public domain," Mani said.
Asked about Sri Lankan Prime Minister's threat that he would sue the ICC for its treatment of Murali, he said, "I cannot comment on that. But all our regulations are fully supported by Sri Lanka Cricket."
Mani also did not comment on Muralitharan's decision not to tour Australia as a protest against Aussie Prime Minister John Howard's remark that he was a chucker. "As a person he is entitled to his opinion. We cannot comment on it."
The controversy over "doosra" has raged on ever since the Muralitharan, whose unorthodox action has seen him being no-balled thrice in his 14-year long career, was reported by ICC Match Referee Chris Broad during the Australian series in March, saying the bowler's action while delivering the doosra, the ball that moves away from the right-handers, was suspect.
The controversy and subsequent tests by biomechanics notwithstanding, Murali went on to become the game's highest wicket-taker ever during the recent series against Zimbabwe.