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'Bowlers face permanent scrutiny'

Gavaskar is convinced that doubts will remain over bowlers' actions even if tests prove their deliveries to be perfectly legal.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 14:21 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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ICC cricket committee chairman Sunil Gavaskar is convinced that doubts will remain over a bowler's action even if tests prove their deliveries to be perfectly legal.

"Every ball that he bowls can be scrutinised and can be called," Indian batting great Gavaskar said during a cricket discussion programme aired on ESPN.

"No bowler is ever cleared forever."

Gavaskar's comments were made in the wake of fresh controversy surrounding Pakistani paceman Shoaib Akhtar's action, which India coach Greg Chappell had reportedly described as "something seriously different".

"The umpires on the field can call the bowler if they feel that his action is not right," Gavaskar said.

"Sometimes an optical illusion is created, meaning a lot of umpires prefer to report the matter to the third umpire and the match referee," he said.

The 30-year-old Shoaib has been reported three times for a suspect bowling action, but was cleared to play first class cricket in 2001 and has not been reported since.

Last week, Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan underwent private tests at the University of Western Australia to prove that his bowling action was legal after receiving a hostile reception from the Australian crowd in the ongoing tri-series.

Muralitharan's action has come under close scrutiny on more than one occasion in the past, but biomechanics expert Bruce Elliott, a professor at the University, confirmed that the tests proved his action was legitimate.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 14:21 IST