I have been a cricket enthusiast till advancing years made golf my first love. But watching cricket and imbibing the game remains of great interest to me. Cricket has produced an array of stars, but unlike golf the cricket stars by the very nature of the game are younger. One player who holds every concievable record in spin bowling is Muttiah Murlitharan.
Murli is a Sri Lanka Tamil who bowled with a jerky action. Frankly when I saw him bowl at the Wankhede stadium in a test mtch against India, I was convinced Murli threw the ball. His action was not clean,not the classical round arm of a Prasanna, a Warne or a Ghulam. Murli while bowling brought a jerk in his delivery.
Murlitharan was called for throwing in Australia. Its a mystery to me how he escaped the rap of being labelled a thrower. Now we know that Murli was examined by a team of doctors who opined that Murli had a natural bend in his arm. The ICC under pressure of the Indian and Asian boards amended the rule book that allowed Murli to get away. It was naked case of favoring Murli and there was a chance the game would split.
Bishen Singh Bedi has commented,that Murli was not a spinner at all but a javilon thrower who just hurled the ball. After all a blind man is not allowed to drive, so why did the ICC allow Murli to play thogh he had a natural bent of his arm. The fact is that Murli could bowl a normal delivery, but he that did not fetch himwickets. When he bowled the ' doosra' and gave a twist to his arm he was lethal. Many umpires do feel Murlitharan's deliveries were not legal. Murli.s records thus need to be set aside. Its a sad thing, but records by dubious means bring the stature of the game down