PCB seeks umpires help to check ~~chuckers~~

Published: Monday, May 24, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has launched a campaign to spot bowlers with illegal deliveries early in their careers to avoid embarrassment at international level, the PCB's chairman wrote in a letter.

"I am writing to seek your assistance in checking the increasing instances of illegal bowling action in Pakistan cricket at all level," PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said in a letter to the country's leading umpires.

Pakistan's frontline pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Shabbir Ahmed have come under the International Cricket Council's (ICC) scrutiny for their bowling styles.

Akhtar, who has bowled at over 100 miles (161 kilometers) per hour at the international level, has had the legality of his delivery questioned three times, but the fiery pacer was cleared because of a deformity to his bowling arm.

Shabbir's bowling style was questioned for a second time in January and he has since undergone corrective measures while all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik were also questioned in the recent past.

"We need to take actions before our bowlers come under scrutiny at international level and cause embarrassment for us," the letter said.

The ICC has a two-stage process in place to analyse bowling styles.

After first being reported the bowler needs to work with an advisor to be appointed by his home Board and a human movement specialist appointed by the ICC.

This stage lasts up to six weeks during which the bowler is free to play but a detailed report is to be submitted to the ICC on the measures taken to correct his style.

If the bowler is reported again within six months of the first report he faces a ban of up to one year and the ICC appoints an expert to help the bowler further improve his delivery.

Test cricket's leading wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka has also come under scrutiny and was recently barred from bowling his "doosra" -- a delivery which turns in the opposite direction of his usual off-breaks.

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