Sri Lankan prime minister plans legal action against ICC over Muralitharan's ``doosra''
Sun May 16, 2004 09:31 EDT .
KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's prime minister is planning to challenge the International Cricket Council in court over its decision to ban ace offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan from bowling a special delivery, an official said Sunday.
``The prime minister is going to take legal action against the decision and today he has discussed it with some veteran lawyers,'' said Rohan Welivita, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's media secretary.
``He thinks that all Sri Lankans need to support Muralitharan because he is a national figure,'' Weliwita said.
Rajapakse's announcement comes days after his Australian counterpart, Prime Minister John Howard, said Muralitharan's bowling action is against the rules of cricket.
Muralitharan's way of bowling the ``doosra,'' a delivery that spins in the opposite direction of a regulation offbreak, has been under scrutiny since March, when he was reported for throwing after a home test series against Australia.
Following several tests, the ICC asked the offspinner last week not to use the delivery in matches. In cricket rules, a bowler cannot flick his elbow while rotating his bowling arm.
Muralitharan, 32, became the top wicket taker in test cricket earlier this month when he overtook retired West Indian Courtney Walsh's world record of 519 test wickets.
The Sri Lankan cricket board said Saturday that Muralitharan is contemplating a boycott of next month's two-match test series against Australia over Howard's remarks.
Muralitharan was first called for throwing by Australian umpire Darrel Hair in 1995, but the ICC determined later that a birth defect prevents the bowler from fully extending his arm.
Published: Sun May 16 14:45:57 EDT 2004