My rebuttal to Mark Richardson’s opinion on Murali

Here is the reply I wrote & sent to him regarding his article where he accused Murali of chucking! This has been sent to the NZ Herald, Cricinfo etc

His article can be found here.

The reply:

Dear Mr. Mark Richardson,

This letter is in regards to your article on last Sunday’s “Herald on Sunday” crudely titled “Forget testing, he’s a chucker”. Firstly, I’m not writing this attempting to change your “opinion”, but merely to highlight your ignorance and lack of understanding of the situation. You pointed out in your article that “Murali has been tested, re-tested, tested again and cleared”. This is probably the only sentence in the whole article where you are actually factually correct. It is funny, after admitting to this fact you still go on to call him a “chucker”.

What you are basically saying here therefore is that all the science and technology that has been used on Murali, which includes tests done with camera’s shooting at over 250 frames per seconds is factually incorrect, but your “amazing” eye sight is a better judgement of whether Murali straightens his arm or not? I’m not going to bore you here with all the scientific facts that has been proven in regards to his deliveries, but let me remind you of a test he did with Mark Nicholas where he bowled with an arm brace made of steel rods and heat moulded plastic, now how would this allow him to straighten his arm? Here’s the link to that video as you’ve obviously not seen it before:

He’s had tests done from the University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong to the Department of Human Movement and Exercise Science in Perth resulting in the conclusion that his unique shoulder rotation and wrist action creates an illusion that he straightens his arm. Maybe Mr. Richardson you should do some research to give yourself some understanding on the congenital deformation he has in his arm and the optical illusion it creates.

I recommend you watch the video on:

This video contains Bruce Yardley, Alec Stewart, and many others, including a Doctor. Maybe this would actually show you your lack of knowledge of the subject.

In your article you still try to prove your “point” by pulling on the string that the tests done in the laboratory weren’t “under match conditions”. Firstly let me ask you Mr. Richardson, when you bat in the nets, is your technique different to how you bat in an actual game? You are basically implying that Murali therefore “tricked” the camera’s filming him and made sure his arm didn’t straighten more than 15 degrees in the lab, but in match conditions he suddenly started straightening his arm more than 15 degrees? Don’t you find this a bit ridiculous? Also let me again remind you the lack of research you have done on the subject. In 2005, people like you actually came out with the call of him not being tested under match conditions. In February 2006 Murali underwent his 4th round of biomechanical testing, where he bowled at the normal speeds he’d bowl in a game (ranging from 86km/h to 99 km/h) and the “doosra” came out to be 12.2 degrees and the off break came out at 12.9 degrees.

Don’t believe me? Visit:

I think the above results, which show he has done tests bowling at the same speeds he does in a game overrides the basis of your whole article. Again, I really wish you had done your research before you picked up a pen!

Also let me point out to you that ICC has done MANY tests and in 2004 from the extensive research done, the scientific findings concluded that that 99% of all bowlers in international cricket at the time straightened their arms to a certain extent. This might not apply to your dribbly drobbly’s as I’m talking about actual bowlers. Again, here’s the link for you:

Mr. Richardson, your opinion on this matter is a classic example of where you forgot the saying “Think before you speak” (in this case “Think before you write”). Your opinion and knowledge of facts is ineffectual, and that’s probably what we should have expected from a 38 Test amateur. Let me quote you a great such as Sir Donald Bradman (batting average of 99.94) who himself said “Murali, for me, shows perhaps the highest discipline of any spin bowler since the war. He holds all the guile of the trade but something else, too.

His slight stature masked a prodigious talent and what a boon he has been for cricket’s development on the subcontinent…. For me, this was the worst example of umpiring (referring to Darell Hair calling Murali) that I have witnessed, and against everything the game stands for, clearly Murali does not throw the ball.” And let me also quote another great, Steve Waugh (168 Tests) “For teams about to take on this proud cricketing nation, about half the team meeting will revolve around how to combat his (Murali) unique style of bowling. Such is his aura, whenever anyone mentions Sri Lankan cricket his name immediately springs to mind. There would never be another Bradman with the bat, but Muralitharan would come the closest, at least statistically, in bowling terms.”

Now Mr. Richardson, let me ask you, would you expect me and the rest of the world to listen to the great Sir Donald Bradman and Steve Waugh (168 test veteran, ex-Australian captain) or a novice of 38 Tests who was a dull batsman and had three shots in his repertoire? I think this is a question even you could see the answer clearly to.

I would suggest Mr. Richardson you stick to such sorry programs as “The Crowd Goes Wild” to make a living rather than trying to grab the limelight with such inaccurate articles. And a note to Herald on Sunday, maybe you need to invest in a gentleman who is actually respected as a good New Zealand cricketer? Maybe a Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle, Chris Cairns or even an Adam Parore?

P.S – It obviously didn’t help your article with the frustrations you would have gathered from seeing New Zealand getting thoroughly beaten in the tests in Sri Lanka at the moment. Maybe accept defeat like a gentleman?


Dinal Gooneratne

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