Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Ganguly accused of ~~whispering campaign~~

Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 19:55 [IST]
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Islamabad:Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is being charged with running a "whispering campaign" aimed at unsettling Pakistan match-winning speedster Shoaib Akhtar by attempting to question his action.

A Pakistan team official, according to media reports, said they had come to know that efforts were being made by the Indian team think-tank, including Ganguly, to put pressure on Shoaib by launching a "whispering" campaign and manipulating the media to raise an issue over his bowling action.

"We know that the Indians have been behind a whispering campaign about Shoaib's action being under scrutiny in this series by the umpires and match referee through their media corps," the official was quoted as saying in local daily 'The News'.

"We realise it is all a ploy to start a controversy in the press about Shoaib's bowling action and try to put him under pressure and disturb him in this series as he is a potential match-winner. But he is ready for such a situation," he said.

The official's remarks come after Ganguly evaded a direct reply on the legality of Shoaib's action in a way that hinted otherwise at a press conference after the Rawalpindi One-dayer, which India lost by 12 runs.

The newspaper also quoted a Pakistan Cricket Board official as saying it was wrong to suggest that Shoaib was among an International Cricket Council (ICC) list of bowlers with suspect action.

"I don't think there is any such list nor have the match referee or umpires been given instruction to watch Shoaib's action," he said. "There is nothing wrong with Shoaib's bowling action and he has been cleared by the ICC just like Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh or others," he said.

Ganguly also came under fire in the media over the last-minute inclusion of Ashish Nehra for the Rawalpindi match and was accused of playing "mindgames".

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