Pakistan aims to nip suspect bowling in the bud

Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will soon introduce measures aimed at identifying players with a suspect bowling action and force them to correct the problem before they step into international cricket.

The PCB, which has had to deal with several players being reported for suspect action on the world stage, said it would implement a new protocol in line with International Cricket Council (ICC) guidelines.

''We are taking this issue very seriously,'' Saleem Altaf, the PCB's director of cricket operations, told Reuters today.

''We want to identify bowlers who have flawed actions before they graduate to the top.'' The measures, to come into effect from next week, would result in any bowler reported for a suspect action being stopped from playing and made to go through an immediate rehabilitation process, he said.

Pakistan pacer Shabbir Ahmed received a 12-month ban from international cricket in December for an illegal action.

The PCB has failed to convince the ICC to have another look at his action after an appeal in January was rejected by a bowling action review group.

Shoaib Akhtar, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi are among a number of players who have been reported over the last six years.

Altaf said the board had set up a bowling action review committee after umpires reported around 50 bowlers in the last domestic season.

''These bowlers have played at different levels including junior competitions and first class tournaments,'' he added.

Even in international youth cricket Pakistan has had some of its bowlers reported.

Special software called Quintex would be used to spot suspect actions and allow experts to correct them.

The ICC allows bowlers to extend their elbow to 15 degrees.

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