Muralitharan says he can live without ~~doosra~~

Published: Friday, May 21, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:Pressure from Australia and England fuelled the ban on his controversial 'doosra' delivery, Sri Lanka's star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said on his return home.

Arriving to a hero's welcome after the Zimbabwe tour during which he set a new world record for Test wickets, Muralitharan said that he could live without the "doosra."

"Even if they insist, I don't mind, I can bowl several others," Muralitharan said. "This ban is because of pressure from Australia and England. There is no problem in Asia. No one in Asia has complained about it."

The off-spinner said he was moved by the support he received within the country as well as from neighbouring Test playing nations following the International Cricket Council's (ICC) move to outlaw the doosra'.

Affectionately known as Murali, the 32-year-old drove in an open truck from the Bandaranaike International airport to the capital Colombo where several receptions awaited him.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was also hosting a reception to which several lawyers had been invited to mount a legal challenge to the ICC ban on the controversial delivery.

Muralitharan got past retired West Indian paceman Courtney Walsh's previous world mark of 519 during the first Test of the Zimbabawe tour at Harare and reached 527 by the second and final Test at Bulawayo.

Muralitharan, whose unorthodox action has seen him no-balled for 'throwing' in the past, has come under fresh scrutiny because of the 'doosra' and has been told that if he persists with it he could face a year-long ban.

Match referee Chris Broad had reported Murali to the ICC after the spinner used the 'doosra' during Sri Lanka's home Test series against Australia in March.

Muralitharan was then sent to Australia to work on his bowling action with a biomechanical expert.

In London, the ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said the report forwarded to him by Sri Lanka Cricket, but compiled by the University of Western Australia, meant the 'doosra' could no longer be tolerated.

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