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Friday, 1 February, 2002, 16:16 GMT
Bedi launches Murali assault
Bishen Bedi
Bishen Bedi is regarded as India's finest-ever spinner
Former Indian Test great Bishen Bedi has launched a stunning attack on modern spinners, including Muttiah Muralitharan, for chucking.

Sri Lanka's Muralitharan, the fastest man to 400 Test wickets has had his action cleared by the International Cricket Council, following controversy over its legality.

Muralitharan's bowling arm is permanently bent due to a congenital deformity.

However, Bedi believes that this should mean nothing in the eyes of the law.

"If Murali doesn't chuck, then show me how to bowl," Bedi said in an interview published in the February issue of Wisden Cricket Asia.

'Javelin thrower'

"How can you call it bowling? He (Muralitharan) has no follow-through and he makes no use of his shoulders.

"Murali's arm doesn't go up at all. I have a picture of him bowling somewhere. He looks like a good javelin thrower."

Referring to Murali's arm condition, Bedi said, "It's just too bad, honestly.


Harbhajan Singh received Bedi's criticism
"Some people are born blind... Will a blind man be allowed to fly an aircraft? So why should a bowler be allowed to chuck because he has a defective arm?"

He went on, "What does not conform to law is illegal and the law has to be applied uniformly. The problem is that the parent body (ICC) is not taking cognisance. It may soon become monstrous - every team may end up with three or four chuckers."

However, Bedi's ire is not just confined to the Sri Lankan maestro with even his fellow countryman Harbhajan Singh receiving criticism for his famous arm-ball.

"In the good old days, it was called the floater. It was bowled using the shoulder, like an outswinger.

"You bowled it with the off-spinner's action, but without imparting any spin.You rolled it, and put in a little extra shoulder, so the ball drifted away.

"Now they do it with their elbows and wrists. Anyone using the elbow to turn it the other way is doing it illegally," he said.

'Anti-spin bowling'

Bedi also attacked one-day cricket for destroying the art of attacking spin-bowling.

"The very concept of one-day cricket is anti-spin bowling," said the man who took 266 wickets in Tests for India.

"By his very nature, the spinner must buy his wickets, must encourage the batsmen to go after him.

"One-day cricket demands that the spinner alter his fundamentals.It has reduced genuine wicket-taking bowlers to containing bowlers.

"Today, what's the difference between a Harbhajan Singh and bowlers like Sourav Ganguly or Ian Harvey? They all are trying to do the same thing," he asked.

Bedi, the captain of India in 22 of his 67 Tests, is currently coaching in Delhi.


Find out about 11 legendary Indian cricketers
See also:

05 Feb 02 |  Cricket
Spinning into history
15 Jan 02 |  Cricket
Murali's 400: A timeline
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