THOSE who witnessed the scenes at England's recent game against Sri Lanka must have been saddened at the spectacle of a team leaving the field.

Out of order as it was, you have to feel sympathy for the bowler Muttiah Muralitharan who has sent down countless overs, and taken more than 200 wickets for his country.

His action has been scrutinised by leading cricket figures at length and passed as acceptable. Yet umpire Emerson thought differently, and created a volatile situation.

Was he being a little over-zealous?

Other leading players have been checked out over the years. One example is Harold Rhodes, of England and Derbyshire, and later pro at Burnley. He was exceptionally fast, but still had little trouble in the different classes of cricket.

What's the answer?

Once passed, the action must be permissible and any diversion from the accepted version could be called no-ball.

K SOWERBUTTS, Southwood Drive, Baxenden.

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