The International Cricket Council's (ICC) assertion that greats such as Sir Richard Hadlee, Dennis Lillee and Imran Khan threw the ball is "grossly insulting and degrading to the history of cricket," former New Zealand wicketkeeper Ian Smith charged yesterday. \n"The trio would have been utterly shocked with such allegations. To be heaped with praise over the years and having been named in the best teams in the world and then be called a chucker is an absolute insult," he said. \nCricket Australia also defended three of their top pace bowlers on Monday after Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan accused them of bowling illegal deliveries. \nAn ICC committee of former Test players, supported by scientific equipment, found that almost every international bowler straight-ened his arm at some stage in their delivery and recommended a rule allowing bowlers to straighten their arms by up to 15 degrees. \nThe ICC committee found that even Steve Harmison, Glenn McGrath and Shaun Pollock are chuckers under existing rules, while Lillee, Khan, Hadlee, Fred Trueman and Ian Botham also threw the ball. \n"The use of scientists has transgressed the rules to the letter of the law by degrading not only fast bowling but also Hadlee, Lillee and company who have been purists and models for bowlers," Smith said. \nSmith, who played 63 Tests and 98 one-day internationals for New Zealand from 1980 to 1992, added that it was a "ludicrous system now that is pointing fingers at great bowlers with flippant comments." \nHe did not agree that the proposal to allow up to a 15-degree of bending of the bowling arm could mean injecting some excitement and entertainment into a code notorious for its rigid rules. \n"Allowing bowlers to chuck the ball will also mean the dismissal of batsmen. Why should the batsmen be on the receiving end?" he said. \nAs a TV broadcaster, Smith and fellow commentator and former New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney caused a furore in the 2002 season when they aired their concerns about the legitimacy of the bowling action of Black Caps pace bowler Kyle Mills. \nHe said television played a major role in detecting illegitimate actions, as in the case of Pakistani quick Shoaib Akhtar. \nMuralitharan's doosra delivery was outlawed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last May after a report concluded that the Sri Lankan bent his arm during delivery and so threw the ball. \nAt present, spinners are permitted five degrees of bend, medium pacers 7.5 and fast bowlers 10. Muralitharan's doosra was initially measured at around 14 degrees. \nHowever last week an ICC bowling committee recommended that all bowlers be allowed to straighten their arms by up to 15 degrees, prompting Muralitharan to say he had been put under unfair scrutiny because of his haul of 532 test wickets. \n"[Glenn] McGrath is bowling about 13 [degrees], [Jason] Gillespie about 12 and Brett Lee about 14 or 15," Muralitharan said on Monday in a radio interview. \n"So what about them then, the Australian players?" added the second-leading Test wicket-taker who has twice been called for "throwing" in Australia and refused to tour the country this year. \nHowever, Cricket Australia (CA) said it was a "gross distortion" to label the trio as "chuckers" based on the ICC's report which found that the laws of nature meant all bowlers flex their arms to an extent upon delivery.
Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) yesterday beat Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in their women’s singles semi-final match to advance to today’s final at the Thailand Open. The top-seeded Tai overcame a 10-21 first-game loss to seventh seed and former world champion Ratchanok to dominate the final two games 21-13, 21-19 in 58 minutes of play at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. World No. 2 Tai is today to face world No. 4 Chen Yufei of China. Chen yesterday bested Pusarla Venkata Sindhu 21-17, 21-16 to secure her spot in the final of the Super 500 tournament. On Friday, Tai overpowered China’s He Bingjiao 21-10,
Wimbledon, widely regarded as the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, was on Friday stripped of ranking points by the sport’s main tours in a move that threatens to reduce the Grand Slam to the status of a high-profile exhibition event. The decision by the ATP and WTA was in response to Wimbledon banning Russian and Belarusian players following the invasion of Ukraine. “It is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022,” an ATP statement said. “Our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a
Defending champions Taichung Blue Whale thrashed Taoyuan Mars 6-0 in Taiwanese women’s soccer over the weekend, while Hualien City rolled on with their fourth win to sit atop the league table. While Thai fullback Pitsamai Sornsai partnered with compatriot goalkeeper Nattaruja Muthtanawech on defense, Japanese midfielder Maho Tanaka opened the scoring for Blue Whale in Saturday’s match, kicking a screamer on a volley from outside the penalty box — her first goal of the season. The match remained 1-0 heading into the break, although Taoyuan Mars striker Ho Chia-huan, a student at Hsing Wu High School in New Taipei City, had good
Faced with a machete, a fighter leaps and locks his legs around another man’s neck, bringing him crashing down to a cacophony of cheers. This is vovinam, Vietnam’s acrobatic martial art with roots dating back to the country’s struggle for independence, and it is showing at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for the first time since 2013. Proponents are trained to use not only their hands and legs to grapple a rival to the ground, but also fend off assailants armed with blades. Short for “Vo Viet Nam” (literally “Vietnamese martial arts”) it was inspired by nationalists who sought an end to the