SL vindicated over Muralitharan
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.
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,
"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.