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The doosra view
Abhijit Chatterjee
Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal is in the eye of a storm as he, too, has joined the "illustrious" list of bowlers who have been reported for a suspect bowling action by match officials after sending down a doosra. The complaint against Ajmal came during the one-day series between Pakistan and Australia at the neutral venue of Dubai. And Saeed is definitely no rookie and has played international cricket against four countries so far, India, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh.

The bowling action of Harbhajan Singh came under the ICC scanner in December 2004 when he was reported both by the on-field umpires as well as the match referee Chris Broad while playing in a Test match against Bangladesh in Chittagong.

Real Madrid fans unsure
The fans of Spanish giants Real Madrid are unsure about their team getting ahead of leaders Barcelona in the race for the Liga title. Real are just four points behind Barca after last Sunday’s 4-2 win away to third-placed Sevilla, and Barca have to visit Real’s Estadio Bernabeu on May 9. Two years ago Real dramatically overturned Barca’s lead and snatched the title away from the Catalans on the final day.

Real Madrid players have failed to generate confidence in their fans about their team getting ahead of leaders Barcelona in the race for the Liga title

MAIL
IPL in South Africa, a big folly
I do not agree with the views expressed by IPL Chairman Lalit Modi (A League Apart. Saturday Extra, April 4), that holding the event in South Africa would be a big challenge. According to me it is a big folly. I fail to understand where was the compulsion and need to shift the event, which could have been postponed by 40 days. After all National prestige is involved in it. Besides this crores of rupees that India could have earned have gone into the coffers of South Africa.


A combination of a sequence of five pictures shows the bowling action of Pakistani bowler Saeed Ajmal during their third one-day match against Australia in Abu Dhabi. Saeed Ajmal has been reported for a suspected illegal action following the second one-day international against Australia. — Reuters

 

   

 

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The doosra view
Abhijit Chatterjee


Chris Broad also reported against Muttiah Muralitharan’s bowling action

Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal is in the eye of a storm as he, too, has joined the "illustrious" list of bowlers who have been reported for a suspect bowling action by match officials after sending down a doosra.

The complaint against Ajmal came during the one-day series between Pakistan and Australia at the neutral venue of Dubai. And Saeed is definitely no rookie and has played international cricket against four countries so far, India, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh.

Other international players who have called for illegal action in the past after bowling a doosra include Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, India's Harbhajan Singh and Pakistan's Shoaib Malik. For the records the complaint against Muttiah Muralitharan was also made by the Australians.

However, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) human movement specialist panel has cleared the action of all of them. But old timers, including former Test players, are still of the view that while delivering a doosra the bowler, more often than not, tends to bend his arm much more than allowed by the rules. The rules only allow for a bend of 15 degrees.

Another international offie who is also currently under the scanner is South African Johan Botha, who was reported while playing against Australia earlier in April. This is not the first time that Botha has been reported for illegal action.

He was earlier reported in 2006 while playing in a Test series against Australia in Australia. That was Botha's maiden Test in which he had claimed two wickets. His action was later ruled illegal and he was banned from playing international cricket.

However, the ban was later lifted in November 2006. If now the ICC panel finds his action illegal then he will be suspended from bowling in international cricket till such time he corrects his action.

But many still do not understand one issue properly. And that is: what is the doosra? How did the delivery get its name? And why bowlers sending down the delivery tend to break the ICC rule on “fair and legal delivery”?

For an off spin bowler the doosra is a delivery that is used to fox the batsman in wrongly reading the turn of a particular delivery.

The bowler delivers the ball with the same finger action as a normal off break but cocks the wrist so that the back of the hand faces the batsman. This gives the ball spin in the opposite direction to that for an off-break, causing it to spin from the leg side to the off side of a right-handed batsman. The doosra is the off-spinner's equivalent to the leg-spinner's googly, which spins in the opposite direction to the leg-spinner's stock ball.

Pakistani off spinner Saqlain Mushtaq is credited with the invention of the doosra in the late 1990s. Little did he know that his delivery would become the subject matter of a huge controversy wherever cricket is played. It is doubtful whether any off-spinner prior to Saqlain ever bowled a delivery which turned from leg.

The naming of the delivery is attributed to Saqlain's teammate wicketkeeper Moin Khan, who would call on the bowler to bowl the doosra from behind the stumps.

However, some watchers of the game say the real pioneer of the doosra was Sonny Ramadhin, West Indies spinner in the 1950s, as he had the ability to move the ball both ways But then there was no controversy during Ramadhin's playing days.

In India, the bowling action of Harbhajan Singh came under the ICC scanner in December 2004 when he was reported both by the on field umpires as well as the match referee Chris Broad while playing in a Test match against Bangladesh in Chittagong.

Broad had earlier made a report against Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan. In the review of Harbhajan's case it was reported that his arm straightened by angles of up to 10 degrees, five degrees within the ICC's tolerance levels.

But two former players, Pakistani skipper Rameez Raja and England and Yorkshire batsman Geoff Boycott are of the view that the ICC should legalise the doosra now as many bowlers are bowling this way. "Why not relax the rules and give two or three degrees more to off-spinners to bowl the doosra," Raja was quoted as saying.

But the question is: how do you measure the two or three degrees every time a doosra is delivered ?
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Real Madrid fans unsure

The fans of Spanish giants Real Madrid are unsure about their team getting ahead of leaders Barcelona in the race for the Liga title.

Real are just four points behind Barca after last Sunday’s 4-2 win away to third-placed Sevilla, and Barca have to visit Real’s Estadio Bernabeu on May 9.

Two years ago Real dramatically overturned Barca’s lead and snatched the title away from the Catalans on the final day.

This season, the whites have won 17 out of their 19 games under new coach Juande Ramos, who took over from Bernd Schuster in early December.

Online polls in sports dailies AS and Marca Monday show that the “madridista” fans are divided as to the chances of that happening again.

A total of 62 per cent of the readers of AS voted that their team will overturn Barca.

However, only 50 per cent of the readers of rival daily Marca think this will happen, with exactly half of them voting for Barca as champion. Neither are the fans of Barcelona sure about what will happen, to judge by online polls in the digital versions of Mundo Deportivo and Sport on Monday.

Surprisingly, a poll in Mundo Deportivo reveals that only 49 per cent of readers believe that Barca will win La Liga, though 50 per cent of readers of Sport think — or maybe hope — that Josep Guardiola’s team will win in Madrid.

— DPA
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MAIL
IPL in South Africa, a big folly

I do not agree with the views expressed by IPL Chairman Lalit Modi (A League Apart. Saturday Extra, April 4), that holding the event in South Africa would be a big challenge. According to me it is a big folly.

I fail to understand where was the compulsion and need to shift the event, which could have been postponed by 40 days. After all National prestige is involved in it. Besides this crores of rupees that India could have earned have gone into the coffers of South Africa.

Really such type of persons do not deserve respect from their own nation. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is also responsible for this mess. Steps should be taken so that no one is allowed to play with the sentiments of people of the country.

SUBHASH C. TANEJA, Rohtak

Hockey’s case

I fully endorse the views of Prabhjot Singh, that after the win in Ipoh, the Indian hockey team should not rest on its laurels as stiffer challenges are ahead (Beyond Azlan Cup. Saturday Extra, April 18).

Undoubtedly India’s morale boosting victory in the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup Tournament has created a new interest in the national game.

It has brought a sigh of relief to the tens of thousands of die-hard hockey fans. Sandeep Singh, the ace drag flicker, led new look Indian team gave a very good account of itself in the tournament by not conceding a single defeat.

The team deserves accolades for this feat, but there is no room for complacency. Rather it will have to gear up and assert its supremacy in the Asia Cup going to be held next month at Kuantan, also in Malaysia.

There is fear that India may lose the right of hosting the World Cup next year if an elected IHF is not put in office at the earliest.

This should weigh heavily on IOA and the ad hoc committee looking after hockey in the country. The irritant ought to be removed post haste to pave the way for holding the prestigious event in the country.

Otherwise, I’m afraid, the good show being put up by the Indian team in various hockey competitions may be go waste. The writer has rightly pleaded for holding National Hockey Championship and the revival of Premier Hockey League. In pleading the case of hockey, he has pleaded the case of hockey-lovers who ardently wish to see hockey regain its pristine glory. Amen!

TARSEM S. BUMRAH, Batala

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