Harbhajan gets ICC~~s "conditional" go-ahead

Published: Sunday, May 29, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been given a "conditional" go-ahead to play in international cricket by the ICC.

The decision is based on the report of bio-mechanist Mark Portus, who conducted a further analysis of Harbhajan's action following a report by match officials during the recently concluded India-Pakistan series, an International Cricket Council press release said.

According to the release, Portus report had found out differences in Harbhajan's actions during the match against Pakistan and that analysed at the University of Western Australia in February this year.

However, Harbhajan has been given the go-ahead by ICC as Portus could not reach a conclusive decision because of differences in the footage quality and the camera angles.

"There is no doubt that the action analysed in Australia showed Harbhajan with an action that is in with accordance with the regulations," the release quoting ICC General Manager Cricket, David Richardson, said.

"The analysis of the action used during the Pakistan match identifies some differences including the position of the feet and the speed of the delivery. However, Portus was unable to reach a definitive conclusion on the action used against Pakistan because of the quality of the footage and the camera angles used," he said.

On this basis, ICC has advised the BCCI that Harbhajan is able to bowl in international cricket provided his action is consistent with that used in the laborotary," Richardson said.

"Should his action deteriorate, it is possible that the match referees would again report him and this would raise the prospect of further bio-mechanical analysis," he said.

Harbhajan, whose action was reported for the second time in three months in March this year, had received wholehearted backing of the BCCI, which questioned the doubts raised on his bowling action even after the offie underwent the review process twice.

The Punjab player, who underwent corrective measures in 1998, was reported in December after the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong and again in March in the second Test against Pakistan in Kolkata.

It made Harbhajan the first bowler to be reported under ICC's new regulations dealing with suspect bowling actions.

Under the revamped bowling review process, bowlers are allowed to straighten their arm upto 15 degrees while delivering.

The ICC had appointed Marc Portus to undertake initial bio-mechanical analysis of Harbhajan Singh's bowling action.

Portus was asked to review all relevant match and bio-mechanical footage as well as any other relevant information on the bowler.

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