Aussie bio-mechanist to study Harbhajan~~s action

Published: Thursday, May 19, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:The latest review of Harbhajan Singh's bowling action is to be conducted by an Australian bio-mechanist, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced here.

The Indian off-spinner was reported for a suspect action for the third time in his career by match referee Chris Broad at the end of the second Test against Pakistan in Kolkata in March.

The former England batsman was especially concerned by Harbhajan's 'doosra' - a ball that spins away from right-hand batsmen, having already reported him under the ICC's old regulations in a Test against Bangladesh in December.

In a statement Wednesday, the ICC said Marc Portus of the Australian Institute of Sport, "one of the world's leading cricket bio-mechanists" would be reviewing Harbhajan's action.

ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed said: "In the case of Harbhajan, we are in the fortunate position of having a considerable library of material from the previous investigations that have taken place."

"This material provides a starting point for the bio-mechanical analysis required under the ICC's process," the Australian added.

"This information and footage has now been made available to Mr Portus as he starts his own independent analysis of Harbhajans action.

"Mr Portus will be asked to determine if there has been a change in the action used by Harbhajan by comparing the previous bio-mechanical analyses of his action with the action used during the Test that prompted the latest report from the match officials."

Speed said that the ICC and the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) had agreed that the bio-mechanical analysis would follow this path, thereby ensuring a fair process for the player and that any conclusions made were based on clear evidence.

The ICC added the analysis was expected to take up to two weeks to complete.

Harbhajan was also reported in 1998 but returned after remedial work.

If investigations show he straightens his arm above the permissible limit of 15 degrees, Harbhajan could be kept out of international cricket for 12 months.

Harbhajan, 24, last played for India in the One-day international against Pakistan in April at Delhi, taking none for 39 in nine overs in a match Pakistan won by 159 runs.

In 45 Tests he has taken 199 wickets at an average of just over 28 apiece while also taking 120 wickets in 98 one-dayers.

The Sikh bowler, who wears the traditional turban headgear on the field, was nicknamed the 'turbanator' by the Australian media after bagging 32 wickets in three Tests against Steve Waugh's world champions in 2001.

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