Sri Lanka News

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Crowe comments spur Lanka

Mahela Jayawardene has lashed out at Sky Television commentator and former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe, saying his comments spurred the Sri Lankans on to win the second test at the Basin Reserve.

Jayawardene was dismayed that Crowe had raised the legality of star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan’s action on the third evening and yesterday morning, as New Zealand slid to a series-levelling 217-run loss.

Crowe had suggested that Muralitharan – whose controversial action led to the authorities allowing a 15-degree flex in the elbow at the point of delivery – needed to be monitored more often to ensure his arm was not flexing more than permitted.

His comments came as the 34-year-old right-armer completed the most successful 12 months of his career.

His haul of 10 for 118 in yesterday’s test was his fifth match haul of 10 wickets in just six tests, dating back to the second test against England earlier this year.

Jayawardene said the extraordinary Muralitharan didn’t deserve to be targeted by people who had scant knowledge of the relevant information.

"I have a lot of regard for the person who made that comment as a cricketer, but those things should be left to the people who understand," he said.

"For me personally, I didn’t have to make any speeches to motivate the team this morning because those comments did it for me. We wanted to make sure we did well in this test match for Murali."

Jayawardene said it was important to remember that the International Cricket Council decided to adopt the 15-degree buffer because the evidence was that all bowlers flexed their elbow to some extent, not just Muralitharan.

"It’s not fair and I was a bit disappointed," he said. "We played in Christchurch and Murali took seven wickets, but there were no comments made then. We played in Australia, Pakistan and England and it was never raised then."

He said it was time to let go of the controversy and allow his bowler to get on with his career without fear of being accused by former players in the commentary box.

"He [Murali] is quite brilliant and he has come through a lot in the past 10 years; he’s really been through the mill.

"There are responsible people with the ICC who have studied him and have already clarified the situation."

New Zealdn Herald

-The Island-

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December 20, 2006 - Posted by | South Asia, Sports, Sports News & Opinion, World News

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