Murali chucks McGrath out of top spot

By Jon Pierik
Muttiah Muralitharan’s rise to the top in cricket’s bowling rankings released will induce a cocktail of emotions from fans of the game.

While some believe the Sri Lankan off-spinner is the world’s best bowler and one of the greats to have played the game, others feel he is nothing but a glorified chucker who has somehow managed to evade cricket’s laws on throwing.

Muralitharan’s 13-wicket haul in Sri Lanka’s thumping Test win over Zimbabwe including nine wickets in the first innings, helped him supplant Australian spearhead Glenn McGrath as the world’s No. I bowler.

He now have a little over 400 wickets in 71 matches and, at 29 years of age has plenty of time to pass Courtney Walsh’s world record of 519 Test wickets.

Some feel when he bowls his topspinner—as opposed to his regular off-break—he wheels his arm forward and It straightens.

The laws of cricket deem that as a throw.


1. Brian Lara West Indies

2. Sachin Tendulkar India

3. Andy Flower Zimbabwe

4. Matthew Hayden Australia

5. Inzamam-ul-Haq Pakistan

6. Steve Waugh Australia


1. Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka

2. Glenn McGrath Australia

3. Shaun Pollock South Africa

4. Allan Donald South Africa

5. Darren Gough England

6. Shane Warne Australia

He has been no-balled for throwing by three Australian umpires—Darrell Hair, Ross Emerson and Tony McQuillan.

In other rankings, injured speedster Jason Gillespie dropped one place to eighth, Brett Lee climbed from 17th to 15th and leg-spinner Stuart MacGill leapt from 25th to 18th with his seven wickets in the Third Test at the SCG.

In the batting rankings, rampaging Australian opener Matthew Hayden jumped to a career-best fourth following his third century from as many Tests against South Africa.
(Daily Telegraph)