Legend Imran backs proposed throwing laws

Published: Friday, November 19, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Former Pakistan great Imran Khan backed proposed changes to cricket's throwing laws and said he would love to see how much his arm bent when he used to bowl during his illustrious career.

"I would love to see how much my arm used to bend, I was under the illusion that my arm was always right and did not bend," Khan told AFP on Friday.

"It would be interesting to see through the modern technology how much the former bowlers used to bend their arms," said Khan who is now an MP.

"I would not mind if I was found bending the arm, how much we used to bend the arm would be interesting to note," said the 52-year-old Khan, who took 362 wickets in 82 Tests and 182 in 175 one-day games between 1971 to 1992.

"When we used to play, such a modern technology was not used and I have always said that the bowling law was faulty but now I am happy that this has come under discussion and it should be solved," said Khan.

An International Cricket Council (ICC) committee of former Test players, supported by scientific equipment last month found that almost every international bowler straightened their arm at some stage of delivery.

The committee was headed by ICC general manager David Richardson, a former South African wicket-keeper, also including former Test stars like Sunil Gavaskar, Aravinda de Silva, Angus Fraser and Michael Holding.

It recommended a new rule allowing bowlers to straighten their arms by up to 15 degrees.

Khan said the new rules should be implemented in the right spirit.

"I think now it should not be left to the umpire because the umpire could not see the angles with a naked eye.

"It should be left to match referees who sit in the box and analyse every action whether the stipulated regulations of 15 degree are violated."

The ICC committee found that even current bowlers like England's Steve Harmison, Australian Glenn McGrath and South African Shaun Pollock are chuckers under existing rules.

They also conceded that former greats Australian Dennis Lillee, Khan, New Zealand's Richard Hadlee, England's duo of Fred Trueman and Ian Botham also threw the ball, if judged on modern equipment.

If the proposed new ruling is accepted by the ICC chief executives' committee of the 10 Test-playing countries at Melbourne in February, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan will be allowed to bowl his controversial 'doosra' delivery which turns the other way from his normal off-break.

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