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9 September 1998
One last chance for David Lloyd
England's cricket coach David Lloyd is a lucky man. Instead of preparing to accompany the England team to Australia later this year for the Ashes series, he should be job hunting.
A quiet, pleasant man on the surface, Lloyd is a poor loser, his outbursts following a number of England losses have embarrassed the leaders of English cricket, he has been warned a few times by the English Cricket Board to keep his mouth shut, and when he launched a broad-side attack on Muttiah Muralitharan during Sri Lanka's march to victory in the recent one-off Test match at The Oval and was summoned to a meeting by the ECB, it appeared that his days as the England coach were over.
Fortunately for Lloyd, he got away with another warning. This time, however, he was told there won't be a next time.
No one likes to lose, and Lloyd is no exception. Good manners, however, dictate that one accepts defeat graciously - and Lloyd was far from gracious when he criticised Muralitharan's bowling action after the offspinner had taken seven wickets in England's first innings and was on his way to nine in the second.
Like Lloyd, there are many in cricket who believe that Muralitharan's action is wrong and that it gives him a decided advantage. Unlike Lloyd however, they no longer talk about it, much more complain about it.
Two years ago when the Sri Lankans were in Australia, Muralitharan was no-balled for throwing, he became the centre of a controversy, the International Cricket Council, the game's governing body, called in its experts - umpires and coaches - and had them look at tapes of the bowler in action.
The ICC then got medical tests done, the medical tests showed the Sri Lankan's unusual action was due to a rare condition which prevented him from straightening his arm, and the ICC cleared him as a legitimate bowler.
That was good enough for everyone - including umpires around the world and it should be good enough for Lloyd. His outburst in the midst of a great performance by Muralitharan was simply not cricket.
Source :: The Jamaica Gleaner (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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