Colombo:Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has demanded millions of dollars from former Indian spinner Bishan Singh Bedi as damages for making "derogatory" comments questioning Muralitharan's bowling action, an aide said Tuesday.
"It's a letter of demand that we have sent (Bedi)," Muralitharan's manager, Kushil Gunasekera, told The Associated Press.
Gunasekera said Bedi had recently commented that Muralitharan bowled with an illegal action, and called him a "cheat."
The International Cricket Council has created a "monster" of Muralitharan and set a bad precedent by not taking any action against him, Gunasekera quoted Bedi as saying.
"These are derogatory (remarks), and of a personal nature," Gunasekera said.
He said Muralitharan's lawyers have demanded 750 million Sri Lankan rupees $ 6.7 million from Bedi as damages.
Bedi, 60, was an accomplished left-arm spin bowler during his playing days in 1960s and 70s. In 67 test matches he took 267 wickets.
The controversy comes with Muralitharan just eight wickets away from a world record for highest number of test victims, surpassing retired Australian legspinner Shane Warne.
Muralitharan's success at international cricket comes from his exceptional ability to turn the ball, using a wristy action and an elbow bent since birth.
His 15-year career has been surrounded by controversy since 1995, when Australian umpire Darrell Hair called him for "chucking" during a test match in Melbourne.
His action was subsequently cleared by an Australian biomechanics expert, but was no-balled again in Australia in 1998 and reported by English match referee Chris Broad in Sri Lanka in 2004.
The ICC, after a major investigation, ruled that his action is legal.
Gunasekera said that the lawyers have given Bedi 14 days to respond and will later decide whether to file court action against him.