Many cricket fans will know that from 1995 onwards Muttiah Muralitharan was hounded by a wide range of powerful figures in the cricket world, individuals mostly located in Australiaand New Zealand. Threatened by Darrell hair’s unconventional umpiring action on 26 December 21995, Murali’s bowling action was deemed legal by the scientific analysis of the Department of Human Movement & Exercise Science at the University of Western Australia after Daryl Foster, an Australian man of common sense and true friend of Sri Lankan cricket, initiated a test in January 1996; while similar work by Dr. Ravi Goonetilleke at the University of Science Technology in Hong Kong confirmed this finding.[i]
I have never understood why the ICC and the various Sri Lankan Boards running cricket between 1996 and 2003 have not aired the distilled footage created by the UWA unit, footage that has been shown to both ICC and MCC committees at various points of time between 1995 and 2005. I have presented this criticism in mild form in Incursions and Excursions, alas a work that will never be read by many cricketers outsideSri Lanka (if that) and will certainly not reach the men who count in the ruling circles of cricket. As in the book, I insist, here, that such weighty evidence should be widely publicized for the benefit of celebrity idiots of the Bedi variety.
The weight of such visual imagery as evidence has recently been brought out – in passing let me stress – in a recent book by Malcolm Speed, the former CEO of the Australian Cricket Board who then became CEO of the ICC. This significant act of witness relates not to the initial assault on Murali’s action in 1995/96 and then again in 1999, but rather to the subsequent questioning from circa 2003 onwards of his delivery of the new invention, the doosra. When Chris Broad, as Match Referee at a Test Match in Colombo, formally questioned the action (perhaps in order to resolve the whisperings) on 16 March 2004, this became an official investigation that focused on Murali in particular.[ii] Read the rest of this entry ?