Proteas spinner Botha’s action similar to Lanka’s Murli, says Oz bio-mechanist

April 16th, 2009 - 5:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Perth, Apr.16 (ANI): A University of Western Australia bio-mechanist has said Proteas off spinner Johan Botha’s action is similar to Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan.

According to Bruce Elliot, Botha has an action that looks “not quite as different as Murali but heading in that direction.”

According to the Daily Telegraph, Botha completely overhauled his action after he was suspended in 2006 and has since emerged as South Africa’s leading slow bowler in limited-overs cricket. He now faces a fresh round of tests after umpires raised concerns about his quicker ball and his doosra during the fourth one-day international against Australia in Port Elizabeth.

Eliot said the South African would always catch the attention of spectators and umpires because he has a fixed bend in his elbow and his forearm extends at an unusual angle, both of which are more dramatically evident in controversial Sri Lankan Muthiah Muralitharan.

“It doesn’t mean he is guilty or not guilty … (but) it is always going to look a bit strange. He is not quite as different as Murali but he is heading in that direction,” Eliot was quoted, as saying.

Elliott’s laboratory initially deemed Botha’s off-break and doosra illegal but eventually cleared him after remedial work in South Africa.

Botha can keep playing until the results of new biomechanical tests are available, and South African management hopes he will be cleared before the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June.

If he is again found to exceed the 15-degrees permitted for elbow extension, he will be banned for the second time in his career.

Elliott believes it is possible to correct any glitches relatively quickly, but said it was crucial that bowlers were made to simulate match conditions in the laboratory. To that end, the International Cricket Council is moving to ensure testing procedures are consistent. (ANI)

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