SYDNEY: The coach who put a squash ball into Adam Gilchrist's batting glove said there was nothing sinister about the move.
Batting coach Bob Meuleman, who introduced Gilchrist to the technique several years ago, said he laughed out loud when he heard that the Sri Lankans had objected.
``Actually it's just a little bit sad that some people think there's something sinister in it,'' he said. ``There's not.''
Gilchrist's former West Australian coach, Wayne Clark, said it was ludicrous to think it gave Gilchrist an unfair advantage. ``They're grasping at straws,'' Clark said.
Senior Australian umpire Bob Parry, who stood in an ODI match in Perth last season in which Gilchrist had a squash ball in his glove while scoring a century against Queensland, said he had no problem with it.
``I don't see it being outside the spirit of the game. It's the same as wearing an extra inner inside a batting glove,'' Parry said.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Kangadaran Mathivanan's remark that Gilchrist's move was "unethical" has not found much support in his own circle.
Spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan distanced himself from the comments. ``That is (Mathivanan's) personal opinion. The team doesn't think that,'' he told the Herald newspaper.
``If anything, I would think having a squash ball in your glove would be uncomfortable. I don't know if I could even hold a bat with something like that in my glove. So (if Gilchrist wants to do it), it is ok with me,'' Muralitharan added.
Mathivanan also received little support from SLC chief executive Duleep Mendis. When asked his secretary's comments, Mendis said: ``You must ask him about that.'' AP