'Murali would be banned under current rules'

Sri Lanka

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf believes Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan would never have been allowed to play Test cricket if the current crack-down on illegal bowling actions took place during his career.

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf believes Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan would never have been allowed to play Test cricket if the current crack-down on illegal bowling actions took place during his career.

"Murali straightened his elbow well past the current allowed limit of 15 degrees but he was fortunate to play top-flight cricket because at that time the ICC protocol was different," Yousuf told Yousuf told <i>Geo News channe</i>l on Friday.

"I played him a lot of times and I know how he exceeded the 15-degree limit. With each ball, one could see him speed up his deliveries and I told him myself 'You are lucky to be playing.'"

Yousuf, a veteran of 288 ODIs and 90 Test matches, also believes that once a batsman was playing him well, Test cricket's highest wicket taker broke the limit brazenly.

"You could hear the sound of speed as the ball came out of his hand. Under the old protocol, bowlers who straightened their arm beyond 15 degrees like Murali, were allowed to play on medical grounds but now things are different and I support these changes," he continued.

Yousuf, though, disagrees with former team-mate Shoaib Akhtar that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should pursue legal means to challenge the protocol that has seen star Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal be suspended.

"If the PCB wants to do it they can do it but I don't think it is going to make a difference I don't think the ICC will change their stance now. Their CEO has made this very clear and overall I think there is lot of support for these new protocols while testing suspect bowlers," he added.

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