World Cup umpires think Murali’s a chucker, but won’t call him: Ex-umpire Hair

March 5th, 2011 - 10:29 am ICT by ANI  

Colombo, Mar.5 (ANI): Former Test cricket umpire Darrell Hair has delivered a World Cup bombshell by revealing that several ICC match officials believe Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralidaran is a chucker, but have refrained from calling him in matches.

It may be recalled that Hair was the first international umpire to call Muralidaran for throwing in 1995.

Hair still believes Muralidaran continues to chuck.

Speaking before Muralidaran’s showdown with the Australians at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Hair said he and Emerson were not the only umpires who believed the spinner’s action was still flawed.

“A couple of current umpires have said to me, ‘Something is wrong’, but they prefer to let it go,” the Herald Sun quoted Hair, who quit the ICC’s elite panel in 2008, as saying.

He added: “There is still a lot of doubt about his deliveries. A few have told me, ‘There is definitely something wrong with his action, but I’m not going to call him’. They are the ones who have to live with that. If you’re an umpire you’re meant to uphold the law so both teams get a fair shake. There’s been some umpires who think, ‘I’m on a good wicket here, I’m making good money, I won’t rock the boat’.

The 38-year-old off-spinner has more than once been cleared by the ICC, which ordered Muralidaran undergo biomechanical testing, but his action has constantly polarised opinion.

“I watched a few of his deliveries in his game against Pakistan and I noticed the last few overs when he was really getting some turn on the ball, those wouldn’t have complied under scrutiny,” Hair said.

“But this is his last World Cup, he’s going to bow out with a lot of fanfare and no umpire will be bothered by it,” Hair said.

Hair claimed the ICC repeatedly turned a blind eye to his doubts about Muralidaran.

“Each time I wrote a list of concerns and put them in a report, but the report system wasn’t working,” he said.

“The only way it would have worked was if the Sri Lanka board listened to it and quite patently they didn’t want to,” he said. (ANI)

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