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I will clear my name: Botha

Accused chucker Johan Botha has declared he will fight to clear his name as he steels himself for a summer of ruthless torment from Australian crowds.

Accused chucker Johan Botha has declared he will fight to clear his name as he steels himself for a summer of ruthless torment from Australian crowds.

Off-spinner Botha, reported for a suspect action in the third Test against Australia, knows he will be the target for verbal abuse from crowds who will shout him down as a "chucker" when he bowls.

But the 23-year-old has launched a pre-emptive strike by speaking out in his own defence, insisting he will do anything required to ensure he can continue bowling at international level.

"I'm not trying to break any rules and I'm not trying to gain an unfair advantage," Botha said.

"If I have to be tested or make any changes to my action then I am more than willing to do whatever it takes. I'm still learning my trade and I'll do anything to keep my career on track."

South African officials have privately counselled the youngster - who has modelled his action on that of India's tweaker Harbhajan Singh - to prepare for a hostile verbal assault from Australian crowds.

"He's going to have to deal with 30,000 people shouting no-ball when he bowls his first one," South African coach Mickey Arthur said.

"He's going to take some flak and we know that. It will be tough on him but he will cop whatever taunts come. He's a strong young guy and he'll handle it."

Controversial spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan knows what Botha can expect. The Sri Lankan considered boycotting his country's last tour of Australia in protest against hostile crowds.

Muralitharan, who has been no-balled for throwing by three Australian umpires including Darrell Hair's famous call on Boxing Day 1995, had fruit thrown at him and has been repeatedly heckled by Australian crowds about his controversial action.

But undeterred South Africa says it will not be stood over by unruly crowds - and will look the cricket world squarely in the eye with its plan to continue to play Botha this summer. Botha, who is allowed to play on while he is tested, will take the field in tonight's Twenty20 international against Australia at the Gabba and in the VB Series which starts this week.

Arthur maintains there is no problem with Botha's action which he believes will be cleared by scientific testing in Perth when the South African squad travels there at the end of the month.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with his action . . . we are giving the guy 110 per cent support," Arthur said. "The only risk he runs is some umpire trying to make a name for himself by no-balling him from square-leg."

source - theadvertiser.news.com.au
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