Island Cricket

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Muralitharan already has one hand on trophy

Muralitharan has been "no-balled" by two Australian umpires, Ross Emerson and Darrell Hair. Scientists at the University of Western Australia analyzed the action and establish that Muralitharan's bowling is within the laws.

Even so, he can be sure that every delivery will be accompanied by shouts of "no ball," meaning an illegal delivery, from parts of the crowd.While that personal history has contributed to the charged atmosphere in Australia-Sri Lanka matches, the tension dates back to the mid 1990s, when Sri Lanka went to Australia. Muralitharan was part of that team, but the issue was more one of how the team responded to Australian manners.

Long accustomed to playing hard, and backing their deeds with trash-talking - known as "sledging" in cricket - the Australians were not amused when the Sri Lankans, and in particular the combative captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, replied in kind.

Ranatunga is long retired, but his tradition lives on in players like wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara.

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