Lasith Malinga cheats us, by his cheer after taking a wicket. But he bowls illegally and is a chucker. I have chances of noticing his bowling more closely and his action is anything other than bowling in the Normal Cricket Sense. All the bowlers take pains and bowl perfectly. And looking at Malinga, it is not watching Cricket but Gilli-Dandu player throw a ball.
He has a cross armed action playing tennis ball cricket as a poor village lad and suddenly he comes to International Cricket and right from the first ball I know he is throwing the ball. I have seen Chandra bowl with the polio attacked hand and why can’t Malinga bowl normally?
It doesn’t look right and the more wickets he will take and Twenty20 batsmen suffer, the more his name will come into throwing. As for the present, I am sure to say his bowling action is nothing but throwing! He is getting the benefit of doubt because he moves his hand without any stop in between his bowling action. But allow anyone to watch who does not know Cricket and He will sure find Malinga throwing the ball!
The secret for Slinger Malinga, according to Martin Gough of BBC is that he grew up in Galle, in the south of Sri Lanka, doing just that. If you have tried to bowl over-arm with a tennis ball in the office, or your mother’s lounge, you will have found the exaggerated bounce a problem.
Try it side-arm which skids through normally, Mailnga may not be good enough to take four wickets with successive balls in an international against South Africa. He’s come through playing tennis ball cricket, hence his exaggerated low arm action, has mentioned his coach Tom Moody earlier.
He’s been left to be as natural as possible, he’s reaping the benefit. International Cricket Council should change the rule of the 15 degrees allowed.
I don’t believe there is any flexion in his elbow and that the doubts arise. With Malinga one absolutely has no idea where the ball was coming from or where it was going. Forget his unique hairstyle but he has a very unique action.
Brian Lara showed his patience when Malinga was there in West Indies.
Barely had Lasith Malinga bowled the first over in India-Lanka Asia Cup game when a fan called our newspaper office claiming that he chucked not one but all his deliveries.
It was exactly the type of reaction from Aussie fans when Malinga made his Test debut earlier.
Malinga’s action was debated because one is seeing a slinger in big cricket after a long time.
In Mumbai cricket parlance Malinga would be called a ‘ lagori bowler’. Lagori is the game one plays in the building compound trying to topple by a throw of the ball a pile of seven tiles. The lagori throw is perforce round arm. And round arm is what Malinga is all about.
Some of the serious cricket followers said, “Side-arm bowling was popular in the 1800s, but I don’t think we have seen much of it in the last 100 years. Underarm bowling was disallowed in the laws in the 2000 Code, but neither over arm nor side-arm are defined in the laws, or have ever been defined as far as I know.”
A few with medical backgrounds said: “I can’t see him having a long career unless he changes his action to bring his arm a little more vertical. As he ages and injuries happen, I wonder if his arm will flatten out even more and this would definitely affect his pace and bounce.”
Another analysis: “He has a mixed action, landing with his hips side-on and then straightening them suddenly as he releases the ball. Mixed actions are the major causes of lumbar stress fractures in bowlers, and reaching speeds of 140ks, he’d be in high risk? In Australia, our bowlers are screened from a young age - why not in Sri Lanka?
For those whose concerned about Malinga stems only about the fairness of his delivery the law is reproduced below: Definition of fair delivery the arm A ball is fairly delivered in respect of the arm if, once the bowler’s arm has reached the level of the shoulder in the delivery swing, the elbow joint is not straightened partially or completely from that point until the ball has left the hand. This definition shall not debar a bowler from flexing or rotating the wrist in the delivery swing.
On that reading Malinga is legal. But one fan noted: “If that’s the case the law should be rewritten whereby the language does get us back to the delivery stride making some reference to the ball being delivered from over the shoulder, and with a degree of elevation that stops us having to put up with the sight of Malinga’s delivery which owes more to baseball than to cricket.”
Sri Lankan fans couldn’t stand it when an Aussie paper had the following in its headline. “Murali’s magic touch lingers in Malinga.” The copy that followed said: “It was Malinga, a small but breathtaking slinger with an unusual action.”
As an Indian and an IPL fan, I will say that Malinga should not be cautioned, but immediately banned.