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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 03:00 GMT 04:00 UK
Gilchrist questions Murali action
A portrait of Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan
Murali is currently recovering from an injured shoulder
Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist says that Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan's bowing action is illegal, according to reports.

Australian newspaper the Herald Sun reports that when the Australian wicket-keeper and world's top-ranked batsman was asked if Muralitharan's action was illegal he replied "yes".

"Technically, if you read the rules, I think he's probably not quite within them," Gilchrist said of the world's top-ranked bowler.

"If a junior has an action like that out here, it's just corrected as quickly as possible.


I don't have any argument against Murali, he's a top bloke a terrific cricketer
Aussie keeper
Adam Gilchrist

"I'm sure a lot of people say (Australian fast bowler) Brett Lee throws the ball at different times.

"It's such a fine line and the technology we have now, they slow it down and scrutinise everything."

Gilchrist was speaking at a pre-game lunch before the Carlton v Adelaide Australian Rules football match at the Optus Oval in Melbourne.

Sri Lankan star Muralitharan has taken 412 wickets in 73 Tests and is the youngest player to take 400 Test wickets.

He was called for throwing seven times by Australian umpire Darrell Hair on Boxing Day of the 1995 Melbourne Test.

Official clearance

Ten days later he was no-balled again by umpire Ross Emerson in a one-day international.

The International Cricket Council later cleared Muralitharan's bowling action.

"I don't have any argument against Murali," Gilchrist was reported by the Herald Sun as saying.

"He's a top bloke and a terrific cricketer, a real lively character and good fun.

"He's always smiling through all these hard times he has been through."

Gilchrist's criticism comes just over two months after former Indian spin great Bishen Bedi attacked Muralitharan's action.

Muralitharan has yet to play in Sri Lanka's current tour to England because of an injured shoulder and is unlikely to be fit to play in the second Test, which starts at Edgbaston on 30 May.

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