Chuckers find squash ball unethical

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Journey Man
Gilchrist ton was underarm: Sri Lanka
Email Print Normal font Large font Alex Brown
May 8, 2007


AdvertisementADAM Gilchrist's World Cup final-winning century has been described as "unethical" by a senior Sri Lankan official, who compared the Australian vice-captain's use of a squash ball in his batting glove to Trevor Chappell's infamous underarm delivery in 1981.

In a move sure to irritate both Gilchrist and the Australian team, Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Kangadaran Mathivanan has labelled Gilchrist's unorthodox use of the squash ball - which lightened his grip during his memorable 149 in Barbados - contrary to the spirit of cricket.

"My personal view is that it was very unethical," Mathivanan told the Herald last night. "It gave him a better grip against some of our best bowlers, and it might be something I take up at the next ICC meeting. When Trevor and Greg [Chappell] decided to bowl underarm, it was allowed then, but later the ICC changed the law for one-day cricket. It is the same here. It is against the spirit of the game. I think it should be looked at."

Mathivanan insisted several players had told him "they were a bit upset" over the use of the squash ball. That was contradicted by Muttiah Muralitharan. "That is [Mathivanan's] personal opinion; the team doesn't think that," the spinner told the Herald.

"If anything, I would think having a squash ball in your glove would be uncomfortable. I don't know if I could even hold a bat with something like that in my glove. So if [Gilchrist wants to do it], it is OK with me."

Mathivanan also received little support from SLC chief executive Duleep Mendis. When asked if he supported his secretary, Mendis said: "You must call him about that."

Gilchrist's use of the squash ball, as recommended by former WA batsman Bob Meuleman, was used to lighten his grip and stop the bat rotating in his hands.

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