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Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Akhtar heads to Sydney to team up with Lee

Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2001, 21:48 [IST]
 
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Karachi: Pakistan's Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar flew to Australia on Tuesday to play club cricket alongside his "best friend" and rival to the title of fastest bowler in the world, Brett Lee.[an error occurred while processing this directive]But his stint for the Mosman club will be overshadowed by fresh doubts over his bowling action after he was reported for chucking for a third time during a tri-nation series in Sharjah two weeks ago."I want to entertain people by playing cricket and am going to play for a Sydney club. I dont want to think of anything else other than playing entertaining cricket," Akhtar said.Akhtar said he was "not bothered" by the chucking controversy because his action had been analysed and cleared by an Australian university this year."I have a clean action and have been cleared," he said, although the International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed West Indian pace legend Michael Holding to work on Akhtar's action."I want to play cricket and am frustrated by all this controversy." Akhtar will play seven games for Mosman in a pace duo with Australian Lee."I have always enjoyed playing cricket in Australia because the people know the game and love their heroes," he said. "Brett is my best friend and I accepted this club contract only because I wanted to play with him... I was free for a month so I decided to play for Bretts club."The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has protested over the latest chucking charge to the International Cricket Council. Akhtar's action was first reported in Australia in 1999 but he was cleared in March 2000 through a special ICC ruling. New Zealand's umpires reported his action for a second time in March 2001.

AFP
Copyright AFP 2001

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