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ICC to ‘rebuke’ Murali

Sydney: Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralidharan will be given an unofficial reprimand for gesturing at a spectator, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Friday.

Muralidharan was photographed making a finger gesture at a spectator who heckled him during a one-day International against South Africa in Perth on Tuesday.

Match referee Jeff Crowe said that while he accepted Muralidharan had been provoked, the off-spinner was still bound by rules governing player behaviour.

“While it is understood that there was substantial provocation from a section of the Perth crowd, there is a standard required and a player needs to keep his emotions under some control,” Crowe said in a statement.

“Therefore, an unofficial reprimand will be discussed with him and the Sri Lankan team management when the ICC Match Referee and the team gather before the ODI in Hobart on February 7,” the release added.

Muralidharan has been subjected to chants of “no-ball” whenever he bowls in Australia in reference to his unusual bowling action.

He was called for throwing during a Test in Australia over a decade ago but was allowed to keep playing after scientific tests cleared him of having an illegal action.

Sri Lankan team manager Michael Tissera told reporters on Friday his teammates were annoyed by the ongoing criticism of Muralidharan by spectators.

“We are quite cheesed off that this abuse keeps going on and on and on,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do, and the player is thoroughly frustrated.” (Agencies)

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