The Cardus-wannabes can't call a chucker a chucker!

OK! James Kirtley has been suspended from all competitive cricket.

According to the BBC website:

The England and Wales Cricket Board ordered him to undergo the assessment at its National Cricket Centre after he was twice reported last season.

An expert from Loughborough University, Dr Mark King, concluded that Kirtley's action exceeded the maximum 15 degrees "elbow extension" allowed by the ICC.

Kirtley has hyper-extensive elbows, which means they bend backwards slightly, and this has in the past been blamed on an appearance of throwing.

An appearance of throwing? Pity that every batsman has to rely on his own eyes while he is at the crease... Would a beamer be ever described as something that appears as a half-volley?

But, hey, Rohit Brijnath has written this in praise of another chucker, who chucks at 14.99999**

Murali helps World XI salvage some pride
By Rohit Brijnath, Special to Gulf News

Sydney: Cricket has rarely seen an alluring smile like Muttiah Muralitharan’s, nor has the game been recently visited by a player of such engaging cheerfulness.

In an era of mostly stone-faced practitioners, the off spinner wears the mischievous grin of a fellow caught skipping school at the movies.

“Even after 30 overs, he’s buzzing around”, said Andrew Flintoff yesterday, “the type of fellow you want in your dressing room”.

Not that this exuberance is to be dismissed lightly. Despite a career stalked by controversy and innuendo, his spirit has not been extinguished nor his dignity disturbed.

Said an admiring World teammate, no other player could have managed such an assault on his character so manfully.

[an admiring teammate? Who is this anonymous player? Why does he seek anonymity? Or is this quote a Brijnath imagination?]

Not since 1995 has Australia, whose suspicion of him lingers, seen him in a Test arena on these shores.

Then, yesterday, the spinner advertised what had been missed, dazzling spectators and batsmen, especially Simon Katich, who resembled a drunk trying to decipher an intricate crossword. Evidently, he had no clue.

In a lethal alliance with Andrew Flintoff (3-14 in one spell) and Stephen Harmison (3-41), Murali restored some pride to the World, which dismissed the Australians for 199.

Confronted with a target of 355, described by Flintoff as “not easy but possible”, enough light was left in a dying day for Australia to reduce the World to 25 for two.

Glenn McGrath yorked Graeme Smith with his fifth delivery, while Stuart MacGill seduced Virender Sehwag (7) into instinctively chasing a wide delivery that finished in Gilchrist’s gloves.

Rahul Dravid (17) and Brian Lara (0) continue the search for a miracle.

Cricket fascinates as a game, for it meanders along monotonously, prompting loose talk of brisk sales of No-Doze tablets, before springing suddenly to life.

All morning, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden abstained from adventure, producing a treatise on sweeping, and marching from 66-1 to 152-1.

Breakthrough arrived with the surprise of a snowflake in summer.

As if intent on suggesting big, bruising fellows are not absent of the odd subtlety, Stephen Harmison constructed a superb slower ball that deceived Hayden (77), whereupon Michael Clarke (5) exited to the same bowler.

Flintoff sent back Ponting (54) and Australia teetered at 167-4.

Then Murali ran in. Smiling, of course.

Unthreatening in the morning, abruptly, and beautifully, he turned ominous in the gloom of the afternoon.

Few moments in sport are as precious as when an athlete embraces perfection even for a fleeting instant, and Murali to Katich for four balls defined it. The Lankan did not bowl deliveries, he composed them.

Murali let the ball go, Katich twitched; the ball landed, Katich prodded uncertainly; the ball turned and leapt, Katich looked distraught.

Solace of a kind for the Australian was found in a shared embarrassment, for twice Mark Boucher was conned, too, once on a stumping chance, batsman and keeper hitting and clutching air respectively.

Cricketing death was inevitable, only its method was in question; a ball later that, too, was settled when Katich edged a catch back to the bowler.

Gilchrist, who addresses most problems by deciding which stadium tier deserves the ball, was transfixed as well. Meekly following the bowler’s orders, he obediently guided a ball to slip and left in a daze.

Shane Watson, meanwhile, had been trying desperately to edge Flintoff behind and after many attempts succeeded and left for a bemused 10.

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