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    March 21, 2005

    ICC bowls Harbhajan a doosra and reports him again

    In most fair legal or jurisdictional systems, no one can be tried twice for the same crime, the legal term being double jeopardy. The ICC's systems obviously cannot be termed just or fair, by any stretch of imagination, since until 2002, it did not even have an appeal procedure against match-referee decisions spelt out in its code of conduct document.

    The latest victim of the ICC's inconsistencies is Harbhajan Singh, yet again. Barely a month after being cleared by the ICC's own testing methods, Harbhajan Singh has been reported by umpires to the same match referee who'd hauled him up earlier for a suspect bowling action, specifically while delivering the doosra.

    Ok so lets see what the sequence of events has been. Harbhajan was reported for his doosra during India's tour of Bangladesh. Subsequently, he underwent tests under the eye of Bruce Elliott, who was part of the panel which tested out if Harbhajan's various deliveries conformed to the ICC's standards. He was tested in the same manner as Murali had been, needing to bowl without his shirt on and bowl as he would in a match situation, to ensure that his action was consistent with how it would be during a game. Harbhajan maintained that he was confident of being cleared.

    The ICC did not object to the constitution of the panel or the method of testing. In fact it was satisfied with its findings and recommended that Harbhajan be cleared. It is highly unlikely that Harbhajan has modified his action so drastically in the span of a couple of months that what was legal then is illegal now. Given the fact that the testing was done under stringent conditions and the keen eyes of the observers, it is also unlikely that Harbhajan did not actually bowl with his normal delivery stride/action then, for he would then have been caught out when they compared their videos with those of him in action in a test or one-day international.

    So if the testing procedure was fine and Harbhajan's action has not changed before and after the tests, why has he been reported again? If there was a problem with the testing procedure, he must never have been cleared in the first place. If there is a problem with his action now, it means that he has either changed it or that he didnt bowl with his normal action during the tests. I find it hard to believe that he has changed his action, it looks the same to me. Then again, I am not a bio-mechanics expert. To me, it seems like the ICC is just making a case to alter its constitution and call itself the "Inconsistent Cricket Council".

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 10:21 AM |
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