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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 12:32 GMT
ICC to research chucking
Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan has been cleared of chucking in the past
Cricket's governing body is to carry out scientific research into spin bowling to try and weed out chucking.

New allegations have been levelled at Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who has been cleared in the past.

ICC general manager David Richardson said research would help reduce pressure on umpires who report actions.

"Let's compare what Shane Warne does with his elbow to Saqlain [Mushtaq] and all other spinners and try and find out the facts," he said.

"Then we're in a better position to advise umpires as to what they need to watch out for."

An illegal delivery is defined as one where the bowler straightens his elbow after his arm passed his shoulder on the way up.

The ICC has a two-stage process in place to analyse actions of players who are reported.

Richardson, a former South Africa wicket-keeper, said umpires are no longer being asked to call a throw during a Test match.

David Richardson
When people say Muralitharan or Shoaib Akhtar has been cleared that's not quite correct
David Richardson
"You're playing with bowlers' careers so you have to be correct before you right someone off as a chucker," he told Sky Sports.

"We're not going to ask umpires to make a decision.

"We're saying, 'If you suspect something is wrong, report it and we'll take it from there."

Muralitharan, Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar and England pace man James Kirtley have all undergone extensive video analysis to have their actions cleared in the past.

The Sri Lanka spinner, who had taken 478 Test wickets going into the current match against England, has recently developed a delivery that goes the other way from his normal off-spinner.

Richardson emphasized that no players could be cleared for life as actions may change over time.

"Muralitharan went before a bowling review group and they decided on the evidence available they couldn't tell whether he was straightening his arm or not.

"That's not to say he is cleared forever and a day.

"What [a bowling review is] saying is an action up to that point is OK or not OK. You could go out the next day and be called again."

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