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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Gilchrist Going Nuts - Now it's Muralitharan's Action

He is retired now, and doesn't know what to do when not playing cricket. Or, it is a desperate marketing strategy for his autobiography? Whatever be the case, the former Australian keeper who was often described as the 'greatest current all-rounder' now seems to be fast losing it.

True Colours : My Life already seems to be more about the lives of other cricketers rather than Gilchrist's own. First it was his bit about Tendulkar's lack of honesty during the famed Sydney Trial, now it is about Muralitharan's bowling action. Gilly believes that Murali has a suspect action, and the ICC bent the rules of cricket to accommodate the Lankan. His part about ICC bending the rules of the game to accommodate is a fair accusation, but if Gilly really had the balls to be honest, he should not have singled out Muralitharan and stopped there, but come out with the whole scary truth.

As Gilchrist rightly points out, the ICC did change the rules - the definition of what constitutes a 'legal delivery' was indeed modified. But the redefinition was not to accommodate Muralitharan - it was to ensure that two of Gilchrist's own team-mates, Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie amongst many other leading bowlers of the world were not outlawed alongwith Murali!

Following Hair's no-balling Muralitharan for throwing, the ICC initiated a study of the bowling actions of bowlers across the world. This study revealed some shocking statistics - as per the existing laws of cricket, more than 90 percent of bowlers were chucking, not bowling! Imagine a scenario where the ICC had to ban McGrath, Pollock, Gillespie and Brett Lee - the world of cricket would have gone topsy turvy, at least temporarily international cricket would have come to a grinding halt. That's what hurried the ICC into amending the definition of a valid bowling action. Both McGrath and Lee were going beyond the ten degrees limit, and on a regular basis - it was not even a case where only the doosra was a problem.

Surely Gilly knows about this - then why this distortion of truth?

Gilchrist calls that change of rule by the ICC to accommodate Murali 'horse-crap'. The truth is that it is he who is trying to bull-shit his way to a best-seller. I also fear that he might actually succeed.

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