Foster wants ICC to act quickly on chucking

Published: Thursday, July 1, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Australian bowling expert Daryl Foster has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to address the "silly" chucking rule.

His appeal comes after Australian Prime Minister John Howard labelled Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who has a world-record 527 Test wickets to his credit, "a chucker" earlier this year.

The ICC regulation allows spinners to bend their elbow five degrees as compared to 10 for pace bowlers.

Muralitharan was reported in March this year for his peculiar "doosra" delivery, which turns the other way from his normal off-break.

"That law on bowling is silly as it stands at the moment. You can't give bowlers 5-10 degree tolerance just because one is slower than the other," Foster said.

Foster, who has coached Western Australia and English County side Kent and twice worked with Pakistan's bowlers, is currently in Pakistan to help emerging cricketers ensure their actions do not contravene the ICC rules.

Saying the ICC had to resolve this issue quickly, he added: "Muralitharan is the most tested bowler in terms of his action, tested in 1995, 1999 and now in 2004 and I think he is the most discriminated and harassed bowler in the history of the game."

The 58-year-old Foster was the key figure at the University of Western Australia's Department of Human Movement and Exercise Science which cleared Muralitharan and Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar of chucking on the grounds of a deformity in their bowling arms.

"I was in Adelaide when Muralitharan was called for throwing in 1995 and there is nothing more humiliating to be called in the middle and 30,000 people screaming chucker, chucker, chucker," said Foster.

He suggested cricket should hold up bowlers like Muralitharan and Akhtar as examples of people who had overcome deformities to reach the top level of their sport.

Akhtar, who along with fellow countryman Mohammed Sami bowls at almost 100 miles per hour, had his action questioned three times, most recently in 2001.

Muralitharan last month pulled out of Sri Lanka's current tour of Australia after the Howard slight.

But Foster disagreed that Howard's comment had stopped Muralitharan from touring. "I don't think Howard's comments stopped him, he was worn out, tired by all the publicity and conjecture he endured and after he achieved the world record he needed a breather," he said.

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