Woolmer says definite improvement in Shabbir~~s action

Published: Thursday, August 11, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Pakistan's suspended pace bowler Shabbir Ahmed has responded well to the work being done on his suspect bowling action by coach Bob Woolmer in Lahore these days.

Shabbir's bowling action was reported for the third time in his international career in late May after the first Test against the West Indies in Barbados.

Shabbir was subsequently stopped from bowling by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after the 21-day grace period allowed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to a bowler to rectify his bowling action and get it cleared.

The tests carried out on Shabbir's action in England in June confirmed his elbow extension was well above the 15-degree tolerance limit allowed by the ICC.

"Woolmer has reported back that Shabbir has responded well to the work done on his action so far. He has reported that there is a definite improvement in Shabbir's action and hopefully the need to send him abroad for rectifying his action will not arise," Director Cricket Operations Saleem Altaf said.

Woolmer has been working with Shabbir for the last one week and stepped in to help out after the PCB remained uncertain whether to send the bowler to Australia or work with some other specialist bowlers.

"It's not right to take any decision to send Shabbir abroad in a hurry; first we want to see how things go after his sessions with Woolmer and then if there is still a need to send him to Australia we'll do it," Altaf said. "Woolmer is confident as he has watched Shabbir's action closely and feels that it can be improved."

However, Altaf said before sending Shabbir's remodelled action videos to the ICC's bowling action review group for clearance, the PCB would also like to have Australian bowling coach, who has vast experience of working on faulty actions, see the new action and give his comments on it.

"The position is that if we play Shabbir today and his action is reported again it means he'll be suspended from international cricket and we don't want such a situation so we are taking it step by step," he said.

Since the injuries to pacemen Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami and Umar Gul, Shabbir was one of Pakistan's main bowler's in the West Indies although he also returned to action after being relegated to the sidelines since September 2004 due to a knee problem.

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