Hair reignites Murali row

2011-03-05 08:49

New Delhi - Defending champions Australia face Sri Lanka in a mouthwatering World Cup clash on Saturday dramatically spiced up by new 'chucking' allegations over record-breaking spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

Retired Aussie umpire Darrell Hair, who caused a storm in the international game when he first called Sri Lankan star Muralitharan for an illegal action in 1995, claimed that many current match officials share the same doubts.

However, he insists that some umpires are scared to intervene, content to see the 38-year-old enjoy his World Cup swansong before slipping into international retirement.

"A couple of current umpires have said to me, 'something is wrong', but they prefer to let it go," Hair, who quit in 2008, told Australian media on Saturday.

"There is still a lot of doubt about his deliveries.

"A few have told me, 'There is definitely something wrong with his action, but I'm not going to call him'."

Muralitharan has been cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after undergoing biomechanical tests on his controversial action.

But the debate continues to polarise opinion.

"I watched a few of his deliveries against Pakistan and I noticed the last few overs when he was really getting some turn on the ball, those wouldn't have complied under scrutiny," claimed Hair.

"But this is his last World Cup, he's going to bow out with a lot of fanfare and no umpire will be bothered by it."

Muralitharan, who has a record 523 ODI wickets and 800 Test victims, will line up against Australia at the R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo in Saturday's crucial Group A match.

Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions and 2007 runners-up to Australia, could field three spinners with Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath expected to play on the dead-slow pitch.

"That's the possibility we're exploring," said skipper Kumar Sangakkara.

Sri Lanka, with two wins and a defeat so far, will also be looking for another sensational display from seamer Lasith Malinga, who delivered a career-best 6-38, including a second World Cup hat-trick, against Kenya.

That nine-wicket win gave Sri Lanka four points from three matches, with Pakistan on top of Group A with six points from three.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting, whose side have two wins in two matches, said his team has a plan to counter Malinga's distinctive, slingshot style.

"We have played a fair bit against Malinga over the years. Obviously he had a great game against Kenya, so he was one of the main focuses in our team meetings and we talked about the right ways to tackle him," said Ponting.

Meanwhile, angry fans attacked the house of Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan after his team crashed to a humiliating nine-wicket defeat against the West Indies in Dhaka.

Shakib's mother and sister were inside the three-storey house in the western district town of Magura when several motorcycle riders stopped and threw stones at the house on Friday evening, local police chief Proloy Chisim said.

Bangladesh, one of the three co-hosts of the World Cup, were bowled out for their lowest one-day international total of 58 to leave them facing a huge struggle to secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Fans also stoned the bus carrying the West Indies team as the players were leaving Sher-e-Bangla stadium after the match.

Police, who have made 38 arrests in connection with the attack, said fans thought it was the Bangladeshi team bus and hurled stones at it, shattering two windows.

Up to 3,000 fans also torched Bangladesh jerseys and held protest marches on the Dhaka University campus to vent their anger at the loss.


  • Claude - 2011-03-05 09:00

    Always thought that Murali was suspect and that the politics of cricket kept him from being called.

      squeegeepilot - 2011-03-05 09:19

      Same with "slinga" Malinga...

  • John - 2011-03-05 09:29

    Of course he "chucks". I can't believe he hasn't been banned earlier. "Claude" is right. It's politics that keeps him in the game.While we are commenting on such things, Malinga's action can't possibly be legal. How do batsmen cope with him? I would suggest the batsmen take their guard at least a foot outside the crease to negate those yorkers fired in at your toes then the yorkers become full tosses. Just make sure you get a bat on the ball because then it could go any where.

      sharpeijane - 2011-03-05 12:12

      If we are talking about Slinga Malinga - how about Mitchell Johnson? Watching some of his deliveries - his action also looks suspect. I really hope Sri Lanka win today......... !

  • Jasber - 2011-03-05 09:37

    Both Hair and Murali of from the same mould - they are both cheats.

  • Jack Turner - 2011-03-05 09:44

    Childish comments from all 3 of you. Especially reading Jaspers comment. What a childish statement

      Umfubi - 2011-03-05 10:32

      Hear hear. Isn't it amazing how many people with nothing to contribute feel it necessary to blurt out garbage anyway.

  • haynerob - 2011-03-05 09:50

    It is a little ironic in that while Hair was the only one to have the balls to call Murali for chucking and let's face it, he is a blatant chucker and a precedent for others that includes SA's very own Johan Botha to do the same, isn't it time that he owns up for having had the propensity to cheat during his career as an umpire? When SA were poised to win the 1993/4 series down under, their second innings was decimated by 4 highly dubious LBW decisions that I would love to see again with the latest video technology used in the referral system. Most of those decisions were so shocking, they were overtly biased in favor of Australia which begs the question - was Darryl Hair at times, a blatant cheat?

  • Shawn - 2011-03-05 10:04

    Totally agree J Turner... Claude you an idiot and bigger idiots are john&jasber for jumping the bandwagon...puppets

  • Kaapie - 2011-03-05 10:31

    Yeah and funny that he has never no balled the fastest chukker i the name of Brett Lee.. So rich from the aussies. Cluade I suppose you have the inside track on politics in cricket

  • trindian786 - 2011-03-05 11:11

    before making too much noise abt murli think twice as proteas own chucker botha has been banned frm bowling doosra

  • Lishen - 2011-03-05 14:53

    You need to trust that the ICC, represented by people from every major cricketing nation and having a full understanding of what a legal delivery entails, has done its homework, and if they say a bowler is legal, then leave it at that. Don't conjure up politics/conspiracies because that is mere speculation. Just because someone's action doesnt fit your narrow definition of "bowling" doesn't mean it's illegal. You arm doesnt HAVE to be perfectly straight (Botha, Muralitharan) or go straight over your shoulder (Malinga) for your delivery to be legal. Change your 1-dimensional orthodox views and unless you fully understand what constitutes a legal delivery, leave such technicalities to the ICC.

      DILLIGAS - 2011-03-05 20:40

      Lishen, you say the ICC should be left to decide the legalities of specific actions and I agree with you wholeheartedly, but then why, when Murali's action was called into question, did they change the law? His action, under the existing law at the time, was deemed illegal and so degree of bend that governed the legality of the delivery was altered to suit his action. Why was that? Look at the picture above of Murali in delivery and tell me that the bend in his arm conforms to less than 12degrees off the straight???

  • Rob - 2011-03-05 14:57

    The entire game of cticket is suspect to say the least. I`ts become nothing other than sports theatre.

  • Roy - 2011-03-05 18:27

    Murali PASSED all the tests...this is just nonsense. Typical Aussies!! Hope they lose hopelessly in this world cup.

      DILLIGAS - 2011-03-05 20:42

      No he didn't! Not initially, anyway. The law was changed to accommodate his action and only THEN did he pass the tests...Look at the picture above of Murali in delivery and tell me that the bend in his arm conforms to less than 12degrees off the straight??

  • Deon - 2011-03-05 19:54

    Bulldust. Australians are just plain jealous, and Hairs has hairs growing is his eye. They want to see Shane Warne as the bset ever, and they will do anything to do so. Murali has been tried and tested - our own Johan Botha failed those same tests twice. Murali passed. The Australian media with the likes of Richie Benaud, the Greig brothers etc. are as crooked as a R 3 coin.

  • DILLIGAS - 2011-03-05 20:29

    I have always said that whilst I admire his craft it is clearly illegal and I will never acknowledge his records. There is no doubt in my mind that if Murali had been South African, Australian or English he would have been banned from the game for this action.

  • Deon - 2011-03-05 20:46

    @Dilligas - I don't know how you can say that, but your mind has been made up. Some commentators doubt him, and they are all Aussies. He passed the test, and stated reasons in writing which all designated officials, not even the Aussies accepted. Now, Hair, who was in deep dishonorable sh.. for the Pakistan debacle, opens his mouth, and everyone jealous of Murali throws stones. He cannot even name these so called doubters.

  • Colin - 2011-03-06 15:32

    Nobody mentions the throwing action of Malinga, Why Not?? are the umpires scared to upset him in front of his team mates and fans. If anybody else tried that they would be banned from cricket.

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