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Shabbir reported for suspect action

Last updated on: May 30, 2005 13:45 IST

Pakistan's fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action during the first Test against the West Indies, the International Cricket Council announced on Sunday.

Ahmed took five wickets in the match, which Pakistan lost by 276 runs with more than a day to spare at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

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Ahmed and team officials were not immediately available to comment on the allegations. It was the third time in his six-year international career that the 29-year-old has been reported by international umpires.

He was suspect when he first came onto the Pakistan side in September 1999 during a Canadian tournament and again in January 2004 after a one-day international against New Zealand. Ahmed has worked with Michael Holding and others to correct his delivery.

Shabbir will remain eligible to play -- at the discretion of the Pakistan Cricket Board -- in the second and final Test against the West Indies which begins in Jamaica on June 3, Friday.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said before the match that Shabbir had been cleared by experts in Perth, Australia over a year ago.

"There was concern then but he has been cleared to play and, as a coach, I have to go along with that,'' he said. "If the umpires make or match referee make another report, then obviously we will have to look at it but the last time he went, he was cleared.''

In the latest case, the ICC confirmed that Ahmed had been reported by on-field umpires David Shepherd and Darrell Hair, TV umpire Basil Morgan and match referee Ranjan Madugalle.

Madugalle informed both the ICC and Pakistan team officials.

"The match officials had concerns with the action used by the bowler at certain stages during both innings when viewing it with the naked eye,'' he was quoted as saying in an ICC statement. "This assessment has led the team of officials to request the ICC to commission a biomechanical report into the bowler's action.''

An ICC panel will conduct an independent analysis within three weeks and an expert will submit a report about two weeks later, authorities said.

The analysis will try to determine whether the bowler's action falls within, or exceeds, the 15 degrees of permitted elbow straightening.

(Associated Press writer Philip Spooner contributed to this report from Bridgetown, Barbados)


Craig Cozier
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