Akram slams ICC over lack of chucking policy

Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram on Tuesday castigated the International Cricket Council for its lack of coherent policy on chucking and came down hard on it for questioning the actions of his compatriots Shabbir Ahmed and Shoaib Malik.

"The ICC has no policy on the issue of bowling actions. How else can you explain why Shabbir, whose action had been cleared twice earlier, once again finds it questioned," the former left-arm pace bowler told reporters at a function to announce the winners of a speed bowling contest.

"I can't understand what this 15 degree angle (permissible bent elbow angle by the ICC's rules governing the issue) is all about. If I can't understand it how can a layman know what it means," queried Akram.

The bowling actions of both these Pakistan bowlers are to be reviewed by the ICC following they were reported by the umpires after the first Test between Pakistan and England in Multan earlier this month.

Their actions would be reviewed by ICC-approved biomechanist Prof Bruce Eliot of Australia. They remain eligible to play international cricket pending the submission of reports to the world governing council for the game by Prof Eliot.

Akram also wondered why no bowler from England, Australia or South Africa has been questioned over his bowling action even as bowlers from the Indian sub-continent continue to be singled out for corrective action.

"It's because we don't have enough representation on the ICC," the fast bowling great said.

Akram said he expected flat wickets for the forthcoming three-Test series between India and Pakistan in January, 2006.

"The Pakistan team has a settled look about it and has done well against England. It certainly has progressed since India's visit there (in 2004)," Akram said.

He also advocated that the Indians should prepare grassy pitches to defeat Sri Lanka who, according to him, don't have an effective pace bowler to support Chaminda Vaas.

"You should prepare grassy pitches to defeat Sri Lanka, who have only Vaas to take advantage of such a surface. Otherwise it would be a drawn affair," he felt.

Akram was also not in favour of playing seven one-dayers on the trot like India did against Sri Lanka recently. "Seven one-dayers is too many. They lead to boredom."

Talking about his pet subject, pace and swing bowling of which he was a consummate artist, Akram said while pace was important the fast bowlers should also possess the right attitude and cleverness to spot out rival batsmen's weak points and exploiting them.

"Fast bowling is not only about pace but also attitude. They should not be afraid of the batsmen hitting them. They also need to be clever to spot out weak points of the batsmen and exploiting these," he said.

Akram also wondered why Zaheer Khan has been ignored and said the India left-arm discard had a lot of cricket still left in him and should be selected by the national selectors.About Sourav Ganguly's return to the Test team, the Pakistan great said the former India captain should enjoy his cricket and playing under Rahul Dravid's captaincy. "Ganguly should start whacking the ball again," he said.

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