Mahwire makes steady progress in round one

Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Harare:Blessing Mahwire has completed an initial six weeks of intensive coaching to try and sort out his suspect bowling action, Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) chief executive Vincent Hogg said.

The fast bowler had been reported to the International Cricket Council (ICC) by match referee Mike Procter on May 10 for a possible illegal delivery following a Test match against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club.

One of the more experienced players in the "new" Zimbabwe side, Mahwire has subsequently undergone intensive coaching by national coach Geoff Marsh and Zimbabwe academy coach Phill Simmons, the former West Indies all-rounder.

Hogg, who will quit his functions on August 6, said in a report to the ICC that they were working on Mahwire's tendency to bend and straighten his arm for faster deliveries by getting him to bowl a more side-on delivery.

He said that Mahwire has shown "excellent progress".

"Blessing is keen to work with our coaches to do whatever is necessary to improve," explained Hogg, adding that the national selectors have been instructed to leave Mahwire off the squad for three months, with the exception of a four-day match against India 'A' in Harare in late July and August.

"This is so that his action can be assessed under match conditions," said Hogg. "As an extra precaution, before selecting Blessing for further representative cricket, we are considering sending him to Cape Town, South Africa, in September to be assessed by Dr Tim Noakes (a body movements expert) if this is deemed necessary."

The ICC are expected to comply with what amounts to a request for more time in which to resolve Mahwire's problem so that he can resume his career well before Zimbabwe's returns to Test cricket against Bangladesh in January.

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