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.
Floyd Mayweather Jr yesterday knocked out mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Mikuru Asakura in the second round in Japan in the latest of the boxing great’s post-retirement exhibitions. The 45-year-old Mayweather floored his opponent with a right hand as his former welterweight foe Manny Pacquiao watched ringside in Saitama. The American Mayweather, who retired in 2017 with an unbeaten 50-0 record, afterwards dismissed any prospect of a fight with the similarly retired Pacquiao. Mayweather arrived at Saitama Super Arena, north of Tokyo, just an hour before the fight. He was shown on TV relaxing in a dressing room full of takeaway fast food, prior
Taiwan on Sunday pulled in their fourth gold medal at the Tug of War World Outdoor Championships in the Netherlands with a win in the women’s 540kg category, which also tied the team’s best record at the tournament. Taiwan headed into the semi-finals on Sunday in second place, but muscled past Sweden and the Netherlands to win gold in the category. The Taiwan team were unfazed by heavy rain during the competition, as they had been training in wet weather shortly before the tournament, when Typhoon Muifa brushed past Taiwan, national Tug of War Association secretary-general Cho Yao-peng said. The gold medal in
Fifteen female soccer players are expected to quit Spain’s national team after their demand for a change of coach was rejected by the Spanish federation on Thursday. The federation said it received identical e-mails from the 15 players saying they would renounce their places on the team if coach Jorge Vilda was not fired. The federation said that, according to the players, the situation “significantly” affected their “emotional state” and their health. The federation did not elaborate on the “situation” or name the players who made the demand. Spanish media reported that Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas was not among them. “The federation will
Roger Federer is to bring down the curtain on his illustrious career this week, but the Swiss maestro has assured his millions of fans that he will not become a “tennis ghost.” In London, downriver from where he won a record eight Wimbledon titles, the 41-year-old said he had no intention of walking away from a sport he has graced for so long. Speaking to reporters at London’s O2 Arena, where Federer twice won the ATP Finals title, the Swiss was emotional at times as he explained the decision to hang up his racket. Asked what his plans were, Federer said he would