Saturday, April 1, 2023

Crackdown on chucking 20 years late: Darrell Hair


Sydney, Oct 13 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) should have taken the decision to crackdown on illegal bowling actions 20 years ago, said umpire Darrell Hair, who famously no-balled Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for chucking in a Boxing Day Test.

“Whatever they’re doing now, they’re doing 20 years too late. They had a chance in 1995 to clean up things and it’s taken them 19 years to finally come back and say they want chuckers out of the game,” Hair was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald Monday.

“I can’t believe that Saaed Ajmal has been able to bowl as long as he has, and they say he is bending his arm by 45 degrees (the legal limit is 15 degrees) or something,” Hair added.

Recently, some of the world’s leading bowlers, including former World No.1 Test bowler Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan and West Indian mystery spinner Sunil Narine, have been reported for suspected illegal action.

Hair added that the international cricket body didn’t act on his warning long ago.

“I said it in the late ’90s that if something wasn’t done about it you’d have a generation of chuckers on your hands and now you have. They try to emulate Harbajan Singh and Saqlain Mushtaq and Murali and that’s the problem.

“The crackdown should have happened on those players and the ICC should have let it be known that it wasn’t acceptable,” the 62-years-old said.

Hair found himself at the centre of one of the sport’s most notorious episodes when he seven times in three overs no-balled a 23-year-old Muralitharan during the second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at the MCG in 1995.

Later, the Sri Lankan had his action cleared before he was called again by umpire Ross Emerson during a one-day international in Adelaide, and went on to take more Test wickets than any bowler in history.

But, Hair still stands by his decision. “All I was doing at any time was just doing my job and I think I did it to the best of my ability,” Hair said.

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