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Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Imran, Zia give Akhtar their backing

Published: Saturday, November 10, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Karachi: Pakistan cricket great Imran Khan came out on Sunday in support of paceman Shoiab Akhtar, who is considering taking legal action after being reported for "chucking" to the International Cricket Council (ICC).[an error occurred while processing this directive]"I think Akhtar has a very good case to take to court," Khan told AFP. "He has already been cleared scientifically, so why is his action being brought into question one more time?" the former Pakistani skipper added.Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia also said his Board would back Akhtar, 26, if he decides to take legal action. Zia said the Board would send a strongly-worded protest to the ICC, which has appointed former West Indian pacer Michael Holding to work on Akhtar's action.The ICC on Wednesday confirmed that umpires had reported Akhtar's action as "suspect" following the Champions Trophy tournament in Sharjah, which Pakistan won last week."Akhtar has an unusual bowling arm and it has been shown on television all over the world. The hyper-extension of his arm gives an illusion of chucking," Khan argued.Akhtar, regarded as the fastest bowler in the world alongside Brett Lee of Australia, hit the limelight in the 1999 World Cup held in England. His action was first reported in Australia in 1999 but Akhtar was cleared in March 2000 through a special ICC ruling. New Zealand's umpires reported his action again in March 2001. But a high-tech study at the Western Australian University cleared him in April this year, concluding that his bowling arm was naturally kinked at birth and did not fully straighten during delivery.

AFP
Copyright AFP 2001

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