Shabbir action gets cleared by expert analyst

Published: Saturday, October 1, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Pace bowler Shabbir Ahmed's action has been given the all-clear following expert analysis, according to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

He has undergone extensive tests at the University of Western Australia after being reported to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on three occasions. The 29-year-old has not played any international cricket since June.

But PCB director Saleem Altaf said: "We are keen to have him available for the home series against England." He added: "The experts have recommended that he should continue to bowl side-on. The problem is when he bowls chest-on."

The rules governing illegal deliveries were changed last year, allowing bowlers to flex their arms up to 15 degrees from the elbow.

Good for Shabbir Ahmed, he was 27 degrees and now he has got it under 15, very creditable. But the ICC has stressed that no bowler can be permanently cleared.

General manager Dave Richardson said earlier this month: "All bowlers are subject to further reporting if the match officials are of the view that they have concerns about whether a delivery or deliveries conform to the laws of cricket when observed with the naked eye."

Shabbir has taken 46 Test wickets and 33 in One-day Internationals. But he faces plenty of competition for a place against England, with Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Naved-ul-Hasan and Umar Gul among those also in contention. BBC Sport.

Cricifo adds: Shabbir Ahmed's rectified bowling action has been found to be within the current parameters set by the ICC, following extensive tests conducted at the University of Western Australia.

Saleem Altaf, Director Operations Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), told Cricinfo that he had received communication from officials at the university who said they were satisfied Shabbir's action, as it stands, is within the ICC tolerance level, which allows for bowlers to flex their arms up to 15 degrees from the elbow.

Altaf said, "We received communication today stating that, as per the tests they conducted, Shabbir's action is within the tolerance level. The next step is now for the university to use the results of their tests and send it as a report to the ICC. They plan to do this during the middle of next week."

The ICC will then decide on a course of action, in consultation with the PCB, once they receive the report. Altaf added, "Once they have received the report we will be in touch with them to see what the next step is.

They can read the report and clear him or they can call him up before their bowling action review committee for one final clearance. In this case, an official will travel with him to that meeting. We would ideally like this whole procedure to be over before the England series so he is cleared to play."

Shabbir was reported for a suspect action for the third time in his career against the West Indies in May this year. He chose to work with Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, instead of seeking help outside the country from specialists to rectify his faults. Under current regulations, if he is reported twice within two years, he faces a suspension from all forms of cricket.

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