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Murali may not play in Australia again

The offie said he was again contemplating not returning to Australia due to the amount of abuse he receives.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2006 11:31 IST

Muralitharan said on Saturday he was again contemplating not returning to Australia due to the amount of abuse he receives, stating "99 percent" of the taunts over his action occur in Australia.

A successful shoulder operation last year allowed Muralitharan to increase his bowling speed.

The issue over his action reappeared this week after claims the speed he now bowls could influence the 15-degree elbow extension allowed under International Cricket Council (ICC) rules. There has also been constant criticism that his last round of tests, at the University of Western Australia in April 2004, hadn't replicated match conditions.

Both Muralitharan's off-break and doosra were tested at a variety of speeds on Thursday and results released Saturday showed he fell under the limit on each occasion.

The 33-year-old Muralitharan, who has 584 Test and 406 one-day wickets, asked the Australian public to leave him alone. "From this test they should realize I'm a normal bowler, like others," he said. "I'm not doing something wrong. "We tested in match conditions, speed and everything, so they should respect me as a bowler rather than anything else. I have done a lot of things for cricket and taken so many wickets in both forms of the game."

Muralitharan showed his frustration during Tuesday's one-dayer against South Africa at the WACA ground in Perth. He received an "unofficial reprimand" from the ICC for raising a middle finger towards a spectator whose face was painted black and who had "no ball" written across his chest.

"Every time I bowl they shout it from the grounds, every time I go near the boundary line they say things, so they are not accepting me," said Muralitharan. "Sometimes you feel 'why do I want to come and play'.

Muralitharan said he's not sure he will return to Australia. "I haven't decided yet, but I love this game, I want to play as long as I can and I want to play in every country," he said.

First Published: Feb 04, 2006 11:20 IST