ICC says no to Akhtar~~s fastest ball record

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2002, 16:19 [IST]
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London: Shoaib Akhtar's achievement in bowling the first recorded 100 mile an hour delivery will not be officially ratified, an International Cricket Council (ICC) spokesman said on Monday.

Pakistan quick Akhtar, 26, nicknamed the 'Rawalpindi Express', was clocked at 161 kilometres per hour (100.04 mph) in the third and final One-day International against New Zealand in Lahore on Saturday. However, bowling speeds have never formed part of cricket's official statistics where runs, wickets and catches make up the bulk of the record books. "We have never kept any official records about bowling speeds," ICC spokesman David Clarke said on Monday. "None whatsoever. It's not an officially recognised record." Clarke said there were no forthcoming plans to create an official bowling speed table. "Not at this stage. But the ICC will be looking at various different aspects of the game during the next few months." The timing of Akhtar's delivery was clocked by a speed gun belonging to a sponsor at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium as the speed gun belonging to the host broadcaster was out of order. But it is no surprise to anyone in world cricket that Akhtar, whose career has also been dogged by accusations of throwing, should be claiming the record, given the number of times he has been recorded bowling deliveries in the 95 MPH plus range. His major rival for the title of world's fastest bowler is Brett Lee. Earlier this year the Australian was timed at 99.8 miles per hour in Cape Town. For more than 20 years, the generally accepted quickest delivery ever bowled was regarded as the 99.8 mile per hour delivery sent down by Lee's Australian predecessor Jeff Thomson. However, that 1976 'wonder-ball' was sent down during a special net session, there being no equipment at the time to accurately measure delivery speeds in match conditions.

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