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Nothing wrong with Harbhajan's action: Murali

December 22, 2004 18:23 IST
Last Updated: December 23, 2004 16:37 IST

Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan does not think there is anything wrong in the way Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh bowls his 'doosra', which was reported as suspect by an ICC Match Referee this week.

"With the naked eye, I can't see anything wrong with it. I don't think there is a problem," Murali was quoted as saying in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' on Wednesday.

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Harbhajan was reported to ICC by Match Referee Chris Broad on Monday for flexing his elbow beyond the "levels of tolerance" when bowling the 'doosra', a delivery which spins away from right-handed batsmen.

Murali also said he feared that constant scrutiny of spinners who bowl the 'doosra' could deter young bowlers from experimenting with the delivery in future.

"Definitely it could," Murali said. "If that happened, it would be a loss for the game. I don't know what the thinking is with umpires and Match Referees with this - it is obviously a very sensitive issue, because you are dealing with bowlers' careers. But I think [doosra] is good for the game."

Like Muralitharan earlier this year, Harbhajan will now have his action reviewed by a special committee over six weeks and, if necessary, work to straighten his action when bowling the 'doosra'.

Harbhajan, the sixth player to be cited for a suspect action this year, was reported by on-field umpires, Pakistan's Aleem Dar and England's Mark Benson, the TV umpire Mahbubur Rahman, and Broad, after the second Test against Bangladesh.

The reporting of Harbhajan comes at a time when the ICC is expected to adopt new guidelines on suspect bowling action at a meeting of the world's chief executives in Melbourne early next year.

The existing limit for spinners is five degrees, while medium pacers and pacemen are allowed to extend their elbows by 7.5 and 10 degrees respectively.

© Copyright 2004 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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