Hair claims some umpires suspect the spinner’s bowling but will not call him on it
Colombo: As if to provoke and disturb the concentration of Sri Lanka’s strike bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair has come out with a timely disclosure.
Speaking to an Australian newspaper, he revealed that several International Cricket Council match officials believe that Muralitharan is a chucker, but have refrained from calling him during matches. Hair’s remark has evoked huge criticism here and angered the Sri Lankan fans.
A cricket fan at the entrance of the R. Premadasa Stadium, unable to control his anger, said: “This only proves that Hair is the most biased umpire in the world. He is the 16th man in the Australian team, and to make such a comment especially just before the all-important match of the World Cup is not right.”
Hair had first called Muralitharan for throwing in 1995. He went on to say that some of the leading cricketers have privately rebuked Muralitharan’s action.
Tour called off
Hair also claimed that Muralitharan had chucked many times during Sri Lanka’s 11-run defeat to Pakistan in the ongoing World Cup.
Meanwhile, Muralitharan, who was planning to be guest coach at Australia’s Centre for Excellence, has decided not to tour Australia. His agent Kashil Gunasekara has announced that Muralitharan will not be able to make it due to other commitments.
Instead, Muralitharan will be focusing on playing for Kochi in the Indian Premier League and he also has a stint with English county Gloucestershire.
Hair, without naming any umpire, has said: “A few have told me there is definitely something wrong with his action, but they are not going to call him.” Despite Muralitharan being cleared of chucking by the ICC after undergoing numerous bio-mechanical tests, Hair said: “If you are an umpire, you’re meant to uphold the law so both teams get a fair shake. I watched a few of his deliveries in his game 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. 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.”
Courtesy of gulfnews.com