New Delhi:A few days after Bishen Singh Bedi described Muttiah Muralitharan as the best shot putter in cricket, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board on Thursday called the comment defamatory and irresponsible.
They have said they will back Murali of he decides to take action against the former India captain.
Bedi had said that Muralitharan was taking advantage of his physical deformity and that the ICC had created a monster in allowing him to continue bowling.
The Sri Lankan Cricket Board said such remarks were intended to "harm the bowler's reputation and achievements".
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Media Manager Samantha Algama said in a statement: "It is irresponsibile for a person of Bedi's stature to make such public comments where he has attacked the personal integrity of Muralitharan and technical competency of the ICC. Bedi has needlessly, unfairly and deliberately targeted Muralitharan in his vituperative outburst."
"While SLC respects the right of individuals to form their own opinion ... we feel that Bedi's comments are defamatory and intended to cause harm to his reputation and achievements, and also disparage the ICC's ruling on the matter," he said.
"SLC sincerely believes that appropriate action should be taken by the authorities to prevent such incidents from recurring and will support any and all efforts by Muralitharan to take corrective action in the matter."
Earier, Bedi, who has been a vocal critic of Muralitharan, said the Sri Lankan was killing the game by setting a wrong precedent for youngsters.
"That man (Muralitharan) is the best shot-putter in the history of cricket. People like him are just killing the game and nobody is doing anything about it," Bedi said at a function in Colombo this week.
"The most worrying thing is that young boys are trying to emulate him. So the ICC have ended up creating a monster with all their technological nonsense to help him continue," he
Muralitharan recently became only the second bowler ever in the game's history to take 700 Test wickets and is set to go past Australian Shane Warne's tally of 708 soon.
But his career has been blotted by umpires no-balling him for suspect action on two separate instances and had to undergo tests by an ICC panel twice to get his action cleared.
"The reason I think he (Muralitharan) cheats is because I have seen him bowl perfect leg breaks. But when it comes to his other deliveries, he bends his arm," Bedi said. (With PTI inputs)