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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 08:24 GMT
Chucking rules set to be changed
Muttiah Muralitharan
Expert advice has identified that the recommended level of tolerance of 15 degrees will accommodate any straightening that is as a result of the bio-mechanical forces at work in the action
ICC statement
The International Cricket Council is set to change the rules of the game to allow greater "tolerance" of players who bend their arms when bowling.

A 15 degree flexing of the arm will be permitted following an extensive research programme conducted by biomechanics experts.

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.

"The issue of illegal actions has been a controversial one in cricket for decades and is often is clouded by the emotional responses that accompany the reporting of a player," said ICC general manager Dave Richardson.

"We need to find a way to respect the spirit and tradition of the game while also taking advantage of the insights that advances in science and technology give us into what takes place in a bowling action."

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 report showed an initial straightening of Muralitharan's arm of around 14 degrees, which after some remedial work was reduced to 10 degrees.

Pakistan's spin bowling all-rounder Shoaib Malik is the latest player to fall foul of existing regulations.

His action was reported to the ICC by umpires Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar following last month's one-day Paktel Cup triangular series.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar's action has also come under scrutiny in the past

And a Daily Telegraph report claims the ICC findings have shown that 99% of all bowlers in history have not had legal actions.

Malik's team-mate Shoaib Akhtar has been reported three times during his career.

A 2001 report by the University of Western Australia's Department of Human Movement concluded Shoaib's action was legal.

The report said his action was due to "unique physical characteristics - that he had hyper-mobility in both his shoulder and elbow joints".

Australia's Brett Lee, Shoaib's rival for the title of world's fastest bowlers, was investigated and cleared in 2000.

The decision to recommend a change to the rules follows a recent meeting of a special ICC Sub-Commitee on Flawed Bowling Actions in Dubai.

Chaired by Richardson, the panel also includes former West Indies paceman Michael Holding, former England captain Tony Lewis, ex-England seam bowler Angus Fraser and former Australia off-spinner Tim May.

Chucking has been a thorny subject for cricket administrators ever since Australia's Ian Meckiff was called four times in an over during a Test series against South Africa in 1963-64.

"The information and the recommendations provided by the committee are valuable and important but this matter is still to be properly considered by the chief executives of the Test-playing countries.

"I would expect that there will be a full and healthy debate as the people who run cricket in each country consider the proposals put forward and determine whether this option provides a better solution than the system currently in place," said ICC chief Malcolm Speed.

Report: BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew

Interview: England bowler James Kirtley

Murali has high hopes for doosra
26 Oct 04 |  Sri Lanka
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30 Jul 04 |  Cricket
ICC backs 'chucking' policy
19 Feb 04 |  Cricket
ICC to research chucking
18 Dec 03 |  Cricket

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