ICL: Indian Cricket League

Muralitharan does not throw: top ICC official


MuralitharanResearch has shown that controversial Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, the all-time second highest wicket taker, does not throw as is widely perceived, says a top International Cricket Council (ICC) official.

‘People can’t understand that Muralitharan is less than 15 degrees. And we can’t ignore that research,’ said ICC general manager (cricket) Dave Richardson.

Richardson, a former South Africa Test wicket-keeper, was referring to the 15 degrees level of tolerance for bowlers who straighten/bend their arm while bowling.

‘What happens with Muralitharan, though, is that if you run up to bowl and if you keep your arm bent and bowl, it will look like he is throwing. But you haven’t straightened your arm even one degree,’ Richardson told IANS here.

‘Now, the law permits you to do that. It only says that you can’t straighten it. He is not straightening his arm more than a whole host of international bowlers, but looks bad because he starts with a bent arm.’

Muralitharan has been called for throwing a few times in his illustrious over 13-year career. But he has every time returned to fox batsmen with his prodigious turn, especially the ‘doosra’, a delivery that spins away from a right-hander. It is his ‘doosra’ that is often looked at with suspicion.

The Sri Lankan has so far captured 611 wickets in 103 Tests, 74 wickets less than the tally of all-time leader Australian Shane Warne, who has played 140 Tests.

Richardson, the first Test player to be employed by ICC, said there was a common misconception that the 15 degrees rule was introduced for the bowlers who throw.

‘It was introduced simply because 99 percent of bowlers… their arms don’t stay 100 percent straight. There will be a degree of extension,’ he said referring to the research on which ICC relies.

‘It will be nonsensical to ban (Glenn) McGrath, (Allan) Donald, (Andrew) Flintoff … ban 99 percent of world’s bowlers because the arm is not a metal rod, it moves a little bit. So, that’s why the 15 degrees is there.’

He continued: ‘And it’s 15 degrees because any movement below 15 degrees can never be seen with the naked eye.’

Currently, on-field umpires and match referees can report a bowler to ICC and then the bowler undergoes a double check at one of the four labs around the world.

Richardson, who played 42 Tests and 122 one-day internationals, said that he did not foresee any wholesale changes in the procedure for reporting bowlers who come under throwing rules.

‘It’s the best process that we have given the existing technology that’s available to us. Ideally, we would love that we were able to test a bowler in a match condition. But we know we can’t reliably do so at the moment,’ he said.

Source:India Sports

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