PCB hopeful of having Shabbir in England tour

Published: Friday, February 24, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is looking to get banned speedster Shabbir Ahmed's action cleared ahead of the series against England in June so that the pacer can lead the country's bowling attack in case Shoaib Akhtar and other regular bowlers fail to recover from their injuries.

Shabbir will return to the rehabilitation camp here to correct his action under the supervision of former Test bowler Sarfraz Nawaz, whose contract has been extended for three months.

''Obviously, with Shoaib Akhtar's situation not clear and with doubts over the fitness of Umar Gul and that of Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, we are looking at the possibility of having Shabbir available for the England tour. If the ICC clears his action he could be a very important bowler in the English conditions,'' media reports here quoted a PCB official as saying.

Sarfaraz has been told that the pacer's modified action should not reduce his pace or affect his ability to swing the ball.

The official said the board will then send Shabbir to Australia to undergo bio-mechanical tests before filing the appeal against the ban in May.

''Until then, we have ample time to work on his action. He will also be sent to Australia for final biomechanics tests before his action is reviewed by the ICC,'' the official said.

Earlier, the Bowling Review Group (BRG) of the ICC banned Shabbir for 12 months after his action was found to be illegal.

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