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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 March, 2004, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Murali action reported
Muttiah Muralitharan
Murali's action was scrutinised during the Australia series

Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling action has been called into doubt for a second time, the International Cricket Council has confirmed.

Match referee Chris Broad reported the spinner to the ICC after the third and final Test of the series against Australia in Colombo.

Muralitharan's new delivery that spins the other way from his stock off-break has been called into question.

The spin star's action has previously been cleared by the ICC.

"I was called this morning to the match referee's office and Chris Broad told me that he had some bad news and that he would be reporting Muralitharan for the ball that goes the other way," said Sri Lankan team manager Ajith Jayasekera.

"We broke the news to the team and Murali at the end of play. He was very disappointed, but Murali does not think he has a problem with this delivery."

Muralitharan's bowling action first sparked controversy when he was no-balled for throwing by umpire Darrell Hair during the Boxing Day Test match against Australia at Melbourne in December 1995.

Muttiah Muralitharan, Ross Emerson and Arjuna Ranatunga
Murali and Ranatunga argue with umpire Emerson in 1998
He was called for throwing later in the tour during a one-day match and again during Sri Lanka's next tour of Australia in 1998 by umpire Ross Emerson in Adelaide.

The last incident led to Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga taking his side from the field in protest.

Muralitharan was later cleared by the ICC after a bio-mechanical analysis at the University of Western Australia, which concluded that he is unable to fully straighten his arm because of a congenital deformity.

Sri Lanka's cricket board will be responsible for reviewing Murali's action and submitting a report to the ICC within six weeks, in the new streamlined two-stage process.

His action will be reviewed by an ICC-appointed Bowling Review Group if he is reported again within a 12-month period.

Muralitharan, who with 513 Test wickets is just seven away from a record haul, will be able to tour Zimbabwe from mid-April.

"Every bowler is treated in the same way by the ICC. All bowlers' actions are scrutinized and the match officials are empowered to make a report where they have concerns.

"This report is no different from the three others that have taken place in the past twelve months and will be treated no differently," said ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed.

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