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ICC is being stupid: Akram

November 23, 2004 15:31 IST

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram rubbished the recent research on bowling action by the International Cricket Council saying the game's world governing body is "being stupid" in proposing that bowlers be allowed to bend their arms up to 15 degrees.

"ICC is being stupid. It's a stupid theory. It (flexion) can't be 11 degrees or 15 degrees. There seems to be no brains there," the legendary Pakistani all-rounder told reporters at Mohali on the sidelines of a programme that aims to create awareness about diabetes among children.

The 38-year-old said the ICC must not adopt an in-between path while dealing with players with suspect bowling action.

"Either you chuck or you don't," he said.

While Akram had brickbats for ICC, he is sympathetic towards Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

"I think Murali is a great bowler. Sometimes you are unfair to him."

Akram was all praise for Indian paceman Irfan Pathan and rated the left-arm seamer as a better player than what he himself was during the early phase of his career.

"The talent is very much there. He is a better bowler than what I was at his age. He knows what is happening around him and he has many years to further improve himself."

Akram was critical of Indian spinners, particularly Harbhajan Singh for criticising the Kanpur pitch.

"This is the problem with your spinners that they start expecting the pitch to turn from day one itself.

"Harbhajan is a great bowler and he should stop blaming the wickets. I think a Test wicket should be like the one at Kanpur. It should not be like the Mumbai track where players like Clarke can take six wickets," he said.

On Zaheer Khan, he said the paceman may be going through a bad patch but the Indians had done well by giving him a chance to play against the South Africans in the Kanpur Test.

"I think the team wants to give Zaheer the confidence because he is a capable bowler," said the former left-arm seamer who took 414 Test wickets besides 502 scalps in one-dayers.

Akram also favoured including Yuvraj Singh in the Test team.

"Yuvraj is a better player. He should be in the Test squad. Taking him in the side and then dropping him will only shake his confidence," he said.

Akram came to the defence of beleaguered Sourav Ganguly saying that the Indian captain needed to be backed up by his teammates.

"Sometimes you go through a rough patch. Of late, even the media has started questioning captain Sourav Ganguly's credibility. This is the time when the captain needs to be backed up."

Akram said it is high time India started preparing bouncier tracks in order to produce quality fast bowlers.

"You create 'mittee wale' tracks [dusty tracks]. Let there be a bit of bounce and grass and then may be many more fast bowlers will come," he said.

About his current job as a commentator, he said that he is enjoying it thoroughly.

"You have to wear a tie, sit in an air conditioned room and then speak whatever you like."

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