The cause of the declaration was an investigation into Sri Lankan spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, one of the sport's all-time greats. Murali, as he is known, is celebrated for a particularly devilish delivery known as the doosra, which has a deceptive spin that most batsmen aren't aware of until it's too late. Critics have accused the 32-year-old of throwing rather than bowling, in which no more than a slight flexing of the elbow is permitted. In April, Murali was made to undergo tests in Perth, Australia, using the same biomechanical and video technology used to make the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The result: when bowling the doosra Murali was guilty of bending his arm at least five degrees more than the legal limit.
Happily for Murali, in a judgment in Dubai last week, the International Cricket Council (ICC) declared that analysis of video footage showed that "99%" of all bowlers, including many cricket greats, bent their arms excessively. The investigating committee proposed that the ICC loosen the rules and allow arms to be bent up to 15 degrees. A relieved Murali told TIME: "Cricket should be a gentleman's game. Now I hope it can be again."