Umpires still doubt Muralis action: Hair

Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan during a team practise session

Sydney: Mar 5, 2011

Former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair still has doubts about Sri Lankan star Muttiah Muralitharan’s bowling action, more than a decade after he called him for chucking, according to a report.

Hair said some other umpires felt the same way but were prepared to let cricket’s highest Test and one-day international wicket-taker continue with his unorthodox deliveries as he moves towards international retirement.

“A couple of current umpires have said to me, ‘something is wrong’, but they prefer to let it go,” Hair told Melbourne’s Herald-Sun newspaper. “There is still a lot of doubt about his deliveries.”

Muralitharan, 38, is expected to be a key element of Sri Lanka’s attack when they take on Australia in their crucial World Cup showdown at the R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Saturday.

He is retiring from international cricket at the end of the current World Cup, taking place in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Hair, who called Muralitharan for throwing in 1995, said he felt that some of the Sri Lankan legend’s deliveries during the World Cup may not have been legal.

“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,” he said. Hair could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

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