The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ex-Aussie umpire for Murali ban
- Fear of ‘racism’ charge keeping players, ICC quiet: Rowan

Melbourne: Former Australian Test umpire Lou Rowan has called for Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralidharan to be banned from international cricket because of his controversial bent-arm bowling action.

“The name Muralidharan should be expunged from cricket records,” Rowan was quoted as saying in Queensland’s Toowoomba Chronicle.

Muralidharan, 30, the third leading wicket-taker in Tests and one-day Internationals, was no-balled for throwing on the 1995-96 and 1998-99 tours of Australia. The International Cricket Council (ICC) subsequently cleared his action.

He was taunted by Australian crowds in the triangular one-day series matches earlier this month and has said he may not tour the country again because of the crowd’s behaviour.

Rowan said relations were strained between Sri Lanka and the England and Australian camps because of resentment over Muralidharan’s action.

“No player will make a comment because they will be accused of racism and the various boards and the ICC will do nothing for the simple reason of the certainty of racist allegations,” Rowan said. “The actions of cricket authorities in permitting and encouraging this man to continue are incomprehensible and a travesty of justice.”

Rowan was the umpire at the other end when Colin Egar no-balled Australia fast bowler Ian Meckiff for throwing in his only over in the first Test against South Africa in December, 1963. Meckiff subsequently retired from cricket. (Reuters)

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