Friday, August 17, 2007

Carry on, Murali. Let the whining Bedi keep howling

Is it not extremely unfair to call a bowler a cheat after he has taken over 700 test wickets? Bishen Bedi’s continuous, unprovoked outbursts against this genius called Muttiah Muralitharan is not only unfair, it is also uncalled-for. The perennial whiner, Bedi, has not been able to see anything great in his achievements. Murali has so unfairly been labeled a javelin thrower, a shot-putter by the jealous whiner. I fail to understand what does Bedi have against Murali? Is he jealous that he was never as feared in his heydays as Murali is feared now? Or is he jealous for the fact that Murali might end up with a thousand test scalps as compared to his 266?

As things stand, the ICC has cleared Murali. End of story. However inept and incompetent the ICC is, it is still the governing body of world cricket. They have given Murali the clean chit. The first problem was that Murali was examined by the ICC after he had taken over 200 wickets. And he had not taken these wickets in a clandestine manner; he had done so in front of cricket lovers all over the world and with TV cameras broadcasting every frame of his bowling action. If Murali was indeed a chucker, why was he first reported 3 years after he started playing? Wasn’t something wrong somewhere?

He underwent a trial by fire, in front of the world’s prying eyes, and came out clean. He was allowed to bowl by the powers-that-be and how well has he bowled since then. Some may indeed argue that the rules were bent to accommodate his bent arm. But the fact that these critics omit is that when a test was done on all the international bowlers, it transpired that there was some degree of flex in each and every bowler. Even a bowler with such a classic action, Glenn McGrath, was found to be flexing his elbow. That was visible only on ultra-motion cameras and not the naked eye. If we, just for the sake of argument, agree for a minute that Murali is a javelin thrower, I put a question to everybody: How many bowlers would be able to bowl like a genius even with a 25 degree flex?

It is proven that Murali has a physically deformed elbow, and cannot straighten it. It is not a crime to bowl with a bent arm, it is within the laws of the game. The problem arises if one straightens the bent arm at the moment of the release of the ball. Bishen Bedi is probably not conversant with the laws of the game. Fine, the laws are made and carried out by ICC, but that is still the governing body of world cricket.

Coming back to Bedi, none of his comments are ever constructive. He comes out with this needless drivel from time to time. Never ever has he said anything positive about anybody. Possibly to be noticed and offered the role of an expert in the many news channels in India. It is a shame that a person like Bedi, like Sarfaraz Nawaz in Pakistan, is taken seriously by sections of the media. After keeping quiet for all these years Murali has filed a case against him. About time, I must say.

Muralitharan is a genius. He is an exemplary example of what a cricketer should be like. Whatever controversies he has been surrounded with, are not his own creation. He has conducted himself beautifully over these years. There is no doubt in my mind that he deserves to retire as the highest wicket-taker in the world. Ahead of Shane Warne, the other spin genius. The reason he deserves this place is because Murali did not do any of the wrongs that Warne did off the field. And Murali, for sure, has conducted himself gracefully against a petty and frustrated former cricketer called Bishen Singh Bedi.

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