ICC dismisses Hair criticism of Murali

Monday, 7 March 2011 00:09 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

CHENNAI, India: International cricket chiefs insisted yesterday they had “full confidence” in their umpires after a former official reiterated his doubts about Muttiah Muralitharan’s unorthodox bowling.

Former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair called Sri Lanka’s Muralitharan, the leading wicket-taker in Tests and One-Day Internationals, for throwing in 1995.

“A couple of current umpires have said to me, ‘something is wrong’, but they prefer to let it go,” Hair told Melbourne’s Herald-Sun newspaper ahead of yesterday’s Sri Lanka-Australia World Cup match in Colombo.

“There is still a lot of doubt about his deliveries.”

Hair said umpires were prepared to turn a blind eye as the player edged towards international retirement.

But International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat backed the international team of officials.

“I’ve got full confidence in the elite panel of umpires, in the rules we have in place -- and it’s up to the umpires to apply them.

“I’m afraid Darrell is no longer part of the panel, and his opinion is just that,” the South African added.

Muralitharan, 38, is retiring from international cricket at the end of the current World Cup, taking place in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Hair said he felt that some of the Sri Lankan legend’s deliveries during the World Cup may not have been legal.

“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,” he said.

Hair could not be reached for comment yesterday.