Written by Staff Writer
14 Oct, 2014 | 6:52 pm
Former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair has named three sub-continental spin giants – Muttiah Muralitharan, Saqlain Mushtaq and Harbhajan Singh – as the ‘role models’ for the increasing number of ‘chuckers’ in the game currently.
Slamming the famed trio, Hair told Sydney Morning Herald, “I said it in the late ’90s that if something wasn’t done about it you’d have a generation of chuckers on your hands. They try to emulate Harbajan Singh, Saqlain Mushtaq and Muralitharan and that’s the problem. The crackdown should have happened on those players and the ICC should have let it be known that it wasn’t acceptable.”
The controversial umpire had famously no-balled Muralitharan in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne in 1995 for what he considered a suspect action. He reckons ICC’s recent ‘clean up’ act is coming ’20 years too late’
“Whatever they’re doing now, they’re doing 20 years too late.”
Since July 2014, ICC match officials have reported five spinners – Sri Lanka’s Sachitra Senanayake, Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Zimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya and Bangladesh’s Sohag Gazi for suspect action. All five have been banned from bowling in international cricket.
“They [ICC] had a chance in 1995 to clean things up and it’s taken them 19 years to finally come back and say they want chuckers out of the game,” Hair added.
While Pakistan cricket is still coming to terms with the ouster of their first-choice spinner Saeed Ajmal, Hair offered no sympathy.
“I can’t believe that Saaed Ajmal has been able to bowl as long as he has, and they say he is bending his arm by 45 degrees [the legal limit is 15 degrees] or something. Well, every man and his dog would have known that.”
Ajmal is currently working under the guidance of former spinner Saqlain in a race against time to correct his action before the ICC World Cup 2015, which is just four months away.
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