Wisden Cricinfo staff
Muttiah Muralitharan has agreed not to bowl his controversial doosra for the moment. Ehsan Mani, the president of the ICC, confirmed this to reporters at the launch of the ICC Champions Trophy in London yesterday. Mani said "The Sri Lankan board has asked Murali not to bowl the doosra and the ICC endorses it. Murali has agreed to comply."
This laid to rest the huge confusion created over the whole issue of whether Murali was allowed to bowl his doosra or not. Before the second Test against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo, Murali had defied the ICC by asserting that he would bowl it, and denied being instructed not to do so by the board. Interestingly Murali did not bowl a single doosra in either innings of the second Test against Zimbabwe. He still ended up picking up six wickets in the match.
Mani said that certain tolerance level was allowed for spinners (five degrees of straightening of the arm), but Murali's doosra was almost three times the permissible level. After remedial work the delivery was closer to conforming to the accepted limits, but was still not clean enough. "Although it has now come down to double, it still does not conform to ICC regulations."
The ICC also clarified that the doosra as a delivery wasn't banned at any stage. "The doosra is not banned. It is a perfectly normal bowling action, some do it very well. The ICC regulations regarding illegal bowling action is very simple. If a particular delivery does not conform to our regulations, it cannot be bowled."