Muralitharan comes under fire again for 'throwing'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Muttiah Muralitharan has been reported for throwing by Chris Broad, the match referee, at the conclusion of Sri Lanka's three Test series against Australia. Broad, the newest member of the International Cricket Council's panel of referees, was unhappy with the off-spinner's doosra - a ball which turns from leg to off.

Muttiah Muralitharan has been reported for throwing by Chris Broad, the match referee, at the conclusion of Sri Lanka's three Test series against Australia. Broad, the newest member of the International Cricket Council's panel of referees, was unhappy with the off-spinner's doosra - a ball which turns from leg to off.

The bowling action of Muralitharan is a constant source of controversy and this is not the first time he has been reported. In the mid-1990s he was called for throwing in Australia and underwent remedial work. During this he was found to have a congenital condition which prevented him from straightening his right elbow. His action was subsequently cleared by experts at the University of Western Australia.

The 31-year-old was again no-balled for throwing in 1999 during a one day international between Sri Lanka and England in Adelaide. The decision of the Australian umpire, Ross Emerson, led to the Sri Lanka captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, threatening to take his side of the field if he called his bowler again.

These debates have not prevented the spinner from becoming the third bowler to take 500 Test wickets. Courtney Walsh (519) and Shane Warne (517) are the two bowlers who lie ahead of Muralitharan, who has taken 513 wickets and is widely tipped to become the world's highest wicket taker.

"At the start of play I was called to the match referee's office," said Ajit Jayasekera, the administrative manager of the Sri Lankan team. "Chris Broad told me that he had some bad news. He would be reporting Murali for the ball that goes the other way. We broke the news to the team and Murali only at the end of the day's play. He was disappointed, and very down, but Murali does not think that he has a problem with this delivery."

Comments