Bowlers with suspect actions under PCB radar

LAHORE: In the wake of spinner Saeed Ajmal being reported for a suspect action, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formed a five-member committee to clamp down on the problem of questionable actions right from the domestic level. The PCB has directed match officials to identify suspect actions in the upcoming domestic season. The panel includes the ICC elite panel umpire Aleem Dar, former chief selector Iqbal Qasim, National Cricket Academy (NCA) head coach Mohammad Akram, national spin-bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed and general manager sports medicine Dr Sohail Saleem.
“The PCB has decided to launch a campaign to eradicate illegal bowling actions,” a PCB spokesman was quoted as saying Tuesday. “There may be some bowlers who are young and need minor remedial work, so we formed a committee to help them clean up their actions. We have a list of bowlers and we have encouraged the umpires and match referees to keep a close eye on bowlers with suspect actions. If the bowlers are reported, they will go through a procedure at the NCA, which the five-man committee will oversee before clearing them.”
The decision comes following the ICC’s recent drive to step up the process of identifying suspect bowling actions. This year, besides Ajmal, the actions of Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Zimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya and Bangladesh’ Sohag Gazi have been reported. Ajmal underwent testing of his action on Monday in Brisbane and is likely to rejoin the Pakistan squad in Sri Lanka for the third and final ODI. The PCB-run NCA is in possession of a biomechanics system, but the machinery is not in use. A lab was temporarily activated for a brief period at the NCA indoor school in 2008, but it was later shut down. There is no suggestion that the PCB will revive the lab for the testing process, and the bowlers’ actions are more likely to be analysed by human observation.

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Aaj Kal