The International Cricket Council (ICC) insisted on Thursday it had not gone soft on bowlers with suspect actions after former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe called on officials to make sure â€œchuckersâ€ were â€œchucked outâ€ of the sport.
Changes to international regulations in 2005 brought about by investigations into controversial Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharanâ€™s action mean elite bowlers are now allowed a maximum of 15 degrees of straightening in delivery.
But Crowe, giving the Marylebone Cricket Clubâ€™s Cowdrey Lecture at Lordâ€™s on Tuesday, said: â€œIf with the naked eye a bowler is clearly chucking - even by one degree - he should be chucked out.â€
Croweâ€™s speech also included a thinly-veiled attack on Muralitharan when he said heâ€™d been â€œdubiously bowled in a Test by a certain Sri Lankan bowlerâ€.
But ICCâ€™s General Manager Cricket, David Richardson, defended the current system, based on a review involving the West Indies pace great Michael Holding and ex-England seamer Angus Fraser.
â€œThe facts are that some bowlers, even those never suspected of having flawed actions, were found likely to be straightening their arms by 11 or 12 degrees,â€ Richardson said in a statement issued from the ICCâ€™s Dubai headquarters. â€œAnd at the same time, some bowlers that may appear to be throwing may be hyper-extending or bowl with permanently bent elbows,â€ he added.
â€œUnder a strict interpretation of the Law they were breaking the rules but if we ruled out every bowler that did that then there would be no bowlers left. The game needed to deal with that reality and the current regulations do just that,â€ said Richardson of a process where the 15-degree mark was determined as the point at which â€˜throwingâ€™ became visible to the naked eye.
Crowe also said Test cricket was being undermined by the presence of minnows Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. â€œBangladesh has taken time to adjust to the demands of Test cricket but that mirrors the experience of every side that has stepped up to the top level,â€ said Richardson.
â€œZimbabwe has already stepped back from its Test commitments to allow itself time to regroup and we are keen to help it in that process in any way we can.â€
Only Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has taken more than 34-year-old Muralitharanâ€™s 635 Test wickets.
But the Sri Lankanâ€™s career has been dogged by rows over the legitimacy of his unique action and two years ago his â€˜doosraâ€™ delivery was reported by match referee Chris Broad, the former England opening batsman, a decision that sparked the review which led to the regulation changes.
Among those reported under the new process are Harbhajan Singh of India, Pakistanâ€™s Shabbir Ahmed and Shoaib Malik, Jermaine Lawson of the West Indies and Johan Botha of South Africa.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, July 14th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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