Muralitharan given all-clear

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

London:Proposed changes in bowling rules will allow Muttiah Muralitharan to resume bowling his controversial 'doosra' after research by the International Cricket Council found that most bowlers in history have been chuckers.

An ICC committee made up of former Test players, chaired by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, has recommended a new rule allowing bowlers to straighten their arms by up to 15 degrees.

The existing rule varies the amount of straightening allowed depending on the type of bowling. Spinners were restricted to five degrees, medium pacers to seven and a half degrees and fast bowlers to 10 degrees.

Under the proposed new ruling, which will be put to the ICC Chief Executives' Committee of the 10 Test-playing countries at its next meeting, in Melbourne, Australia, in February, almost all modern bowling actions would be legal.

This would allow Muralitharan, who is currently injured, to resume bowling his feared doosra. Tests showed that the Sri Lanka star's elbow straightened by 14 degrees, nine degrees more than the current limit for spinners, when bowling this delivery.

Extensive research into the biomechanics of bowling during the past four years has revealed that almost every bowler straightens his arm before he lets go of the ball.

ICC general manager David Richardson said: "When bowlers who to the naked eye look to have pure actions are thoroughly analysed with the assistance of the sophisticated technology now in place, they are likely to be shown as straightening their arm by 11 and in some cases 12 degrees. Under a strict interpretation of the law, these players are breaking the rules."

"The game needs to deal with this reality and make its judgment as to how it accommodates this fact."

The committee found that even Steve Harmison, Glenn McGrath and Shaun Pollock are chuckers under existing rules.

Dennis Lillee, Fred Trueman, Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee also threw the ball.

Former England bowler Angus Fraser, who sat on the committee, said: "Many will feel that by allowing this the ICC are legalising throwing. They are not. All the information and opinion collected points to 15 degrees."

Write Comments