The head of Sri Lanka Cricket has expressed relief and gratitude that Muttiah Muralitharan will be able to use his full weaponry under new laws.
Mohan de Silva said “efforts” to convince the International Cricket Council that Murali’s doosra was legitimate had paid off.
“While thanking the ICC, we also feel sorry for Murali because he had been
through humiliation, trauma and pain.
“Finally all our efforts have been recognised by the ICC,” de Silva said.
“We are happy the ICC has expedited the matter at our request.
“We always maintained Murali will be able to bowl the doosra. He will now be able to use all the weapons in his armoury.”
Under the new laws which are still to be ratified by the ICC’s Executive, all players will be allowed to bowl with a 15-degree flexing of the arm.
Murali’s doosra – a ball that turns away from the normal off-break – was measured earlier this year to be delivered with an arm bent at 14 degrees.
The belief in some quarters that the ICC was compelled to change the rules for Murali’s sake was given voice on Wednesday by former England batsman Geoff Boycott.
“I think it’s been brought in through pressure from Sri Lanka and Murali’s supporters,” Boycott told BBC Sport.
“It’s a sad day for cricket that this pressure can allow Muralitharan to bowl whatever he wants.”
The view prompted a counterattack from The Independent cricket correspondent Angus Fraser, who was a member of the panel which recommened the changes to the ICC.
“Boycott’s views are misguided…I find it disappointing that he has come to this conclusion,” Fraser, a former Test bowler, wrote.
“Muralitharan was mentioned during our meetings, but so were several other bowlers.
“We came to our decision after considering the information we were given by specialists in the field of biomechanics and through what we witnessed on the screens placed in front of us.”
Sri Lanka are hopeful Murali, number two on the Test wicket-taker’s list with 532 victims, will recover from a shoulder injury in time to face New Zealand in January.