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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 06:39 GMT
Murali defends new chucking law
Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan has 532 Test wickets

Muttiah Muralitharan insists he is not the only leading bowler with a suspect action and says Australia's Glenn McGrath bends his arm beyond the limit.

On Wednesday, the International Cricket Board recommended that all players be allowed to flex their arms by up to 15 degrees when bowling.

"Some bowlers from Australia, McGrath and everybody, they are all about 12, 13 degrees," said Muralitharan.

"You can't be accusing me only. Ninety nine percent of bowlers are flexing."

Previously only 10 degrees for fast bowlers and five degrees for spinners were permitted.

The change has to be approved by the ICC Executive Committee in November.

I believed if they were going to target him, they had to target just about everyone else
Former Sri Lankan Test coach Bruce Yardley

If the green light is given, it would allow Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to bowl his controversial 'doosra'.

The delivery was outlawed by the ICC last May after receiving a report which was jointly produced by Sri Lanka Cricket and the University of Western Australia.

The Australian press has reacted strongly to the issue, with The Australian newspaper calling it "a chucking disgrace".

However Australian coach John Buchanan has welcomed moves to relax the bowling laws.

"I believe it's exciting what Murali and whoever else that has been under investigation do in their bowling," he said.

"If bowlers can actually increase the variety of the type of deliveries they can bowl, then that's a good thing for the game because that means batsmen have got to counter that with their own skills."

Former Sri Lankan Test coach Bruce Yardley, who has always defended Muralitharan, was delighted by the decision.

"Now I feel vindicated and I'm very happy for Murali. I always believed he was unfairly treated," he said.

"I've always believed that you can't bowl a cricket ball with a dead straight arm. You have to have some degree of flexion.

"I believed if they were going to target him, they had to target just about everyone else."

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