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Harbhajan reported for suspect action

Source: PTI
December 20, 2004 23:11 IST
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Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been reported for suspect bowling action, International Cricket Council said at London on Monday.

"Indian spin bowler Harbhajan Singh has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action following concern over his 'doosra' delivery which spins away from the right-handed batsmen," ICC said in a release on its official website.

The report was made by the on-field umpires, Pakistan's Aleem Dar and England's Mark Benson, the TV umpire  Mahbubur Rahman, and ICC Match Referee Chris Broad, after watching Harbhajan's action during the second Test  against Bangladesh at Chittagong, it said.

"Having closely reviewed the action Harbhajan Singh employs during this delivery, the match officials decided to report the bowler to the ICC and, in line with the protocol, notified the India team management of this course of action," the release quoted ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed as saying.

Harbhajan is the sixth player to be reported to the ICC under its revised process to deal with potentially flawed actions in 2004.

Pakistan paceman Shabbir Ahmed, Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, Blessing Mahwire of Zimbabwe and Abdur Razzaq of Bangladesh have all had their actions reviewed and undergone remedial work to address concerns identified by members of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Referees this year.

A report on the action of Pakistani off-spinner Shoaib Malik is due to be received by the ICC later this week.

This is also the second time that Harbhajan would go through the bowling review process. The previous occasion was in November 1998 when he underwent remedial work in London.

The release said under the ICC bowling review regulations that the BCCI would have to appoint an expert biomechanist in the next six weeks period to work on the bowlers action.

"This issue now comes under the ICC's bowling review regulations which stipulate that over the next six weeks an expert biomechanist from the ICC's Approved List should be appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to work with the bowler to clearly identify and address any flaws that may occur during the delivery action."

Pointing out that the report would be dealt in the similar manner as the earlier cases, Speed said: "all bowlers' actions are scrutinised and the match officials are empowered to make a report where they have concerns."

"Every bowler is treated in the same way by the ICC and this report is no different from the five others that have been received in the past twelve months.

"Harbhajan Singh will now work with an expert team over the next six weeks to address these concerns. He can continue to play international cricket and cannot be reported again during this period.

"At the end of that time the ICC will be provided with a specialist report on the remedial action, if any is required, that has taken place. This report will be circulated to the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Referees for their information."

The way that international cricket deals with illegal actions is currently under review following recommendations put forward by a panel of former international cricketers.

An expert panel comprising former players had recommended revision of the content and timeframe of the process, confirmation of the intent of the Law and an adjustment of the degree of elbow extension (straightening of the arm from the flexed position) in the bowling action.

The recommendations, supported by the members of the ICC's Cricket Committee chaired by former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, would come up for discussion on February 3-4, 2005, at the ICC Chief Executives' Committee meeting at Melbourne.

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