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.
DJOKOVIC’S SHADOW: Djokovic landed in Dubai after his deportation, while Serbia’s president said that Australia had ‘harassed’ and ‘humiliated’ the world No. 1 player Rafael Nadal yesterday opened his Australian Open campaign in storming style, as the first Grand Slam of the year finally began after a chaotic buildup dominated by the visa saga engulfing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka breezed into the second round, as did world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, but teenager Coco Gauff was an early big name casualty. The American 17-year-old was dumped out in straight sets by China’s Wang Qiang, who is ranked outside the top 100. The only Australian Open champion in the men’s draw after nine-time winner Djokovic’s sensational deportation, Nadal started his quest
The NBA has once again found itself in a China-linked controversy after serial dealmaker Chamath Palihapitiya, a part owner of the Golden State Warriors, dismissed concerns over human rights abuses facing the Uighur minority in China. “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uighurs, OK?” the Sri Lankan-born investor said during an episode of the All-In podcast on Saturday, reacting to a comment from cohost Jason Calacanis about the administration of US President Joe Biden’s “very strong” stance on the issue. “I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth, OK? Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below
China’s freestyle skier Eileen Gu late on Tuesday announced her arrival in Beijing to her 1.3 million followers on Sina Weibo, as the 18-year-old prepares to take part in the Winter Olympic Games. The San Francisco native, who is also known in China by her Mandarin name Ailing and whose mother is from Beijing, is one of Team China’s best-known athletes. After starting her career competing for the US, she switched to represent China in 2019, winning a number of titles for the country over the past two years. As part of the Olympic bubble, Gu can skip the standard three-week quarantine and
The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates are “expected to sign” right-handed Taiwanese pitcher Chang Hung-leng for a US$500,000 signing bonus, MLB.com reported on Saturday. Twenty-year-old Chang, who graduated from Kaohsiung Municipal Sanmin Senior High School in 2020, has been a focus of local and international talent scouts because his fastballs can reach up to 151kph. After graduating high school, the 1.9m tall Chang joined a baseball training program at Asia University in Taichung, and turned out for the semi-professional Taiwan Power baseball team. If the deal closes, he would become the third active Taiwanese player in the Pirates system, joining pitcher Chen Po-yu and infielder