Island Cricket

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Stand by for Aussie outrage over Murali | The Australian

"NOW that Muttiah Muralidaran has broken Shane Warne's Test wicket record, brace yourself for a wave of resentment, most of it from Australia.It makes a fascinating parallel with the Bodyline tour. Back then there was outrage that an Australian sporting hero should be revealed as nothing more than a man.

Bodyline bowling exposed Don Bradman's shortcomings and this was not acceptable. Therefore, the tactic must be wrong. The record Murali has broken was held by a player who, like Bradman, is one of the greatest that ever drew breath. But Murali has broken his record; therefore he must be wrong.

Murali is Wisden's 2007 Leading Cricketer in the World and I wrote a piece in the almanack to mark the fact. I said Murali's action had been authorised, which means you can't quarrel with Murali, only with the laws of cricket. I said those who pick this quarrel must be prepared to argue about the angle between the longitudinal axis of the upper arm and forearm in the sagittal plane.

Inevitably, a couple of Australian columnists of the unreconstructed kind responded. Their argument was, roughly, I don't care about all that, I just know that he chucks every ball and that makes Warnie the best. So much for logic."

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