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    May 30, 2005

    Chucking report card: Harbhajan cleared and Shabbir hauled up

    It certainly sounds like deja vu, but Harbhajan's bowling action was cleared by the ICC, again. Marc Portus, the bio-mechanics expert who worked on analyzing his action, felt that while there were several differences between Harbhajan's bowling action in the India-Pakistan series and when he was examined at the University of Western Australia, a conclusion could not be reached because of different footage quality and camera angles. The caveat with the latest move by the ICC to clear his action is that he must bowl with an action consistent with that demonstrated during his tests at UWA. The possibility that he could be called for chucking again in future is not ruled out.

    After Harbhajan Singh was reported in Bangladesh, he was referred to Bruce Elliott, from the University of Western Australia. On the basis of tests conducted there, his action, possibly specifically the doosra, was cleared.

    Effectively the ICC wants Harbhajan to bowl the same sort of delivery again and again. All it would require for opposition coaches, captains, analysts and batsmen is to obtain the complete footage of his tests at the university. They would be able to devise plans to counter his bowling since he is now restricted.

    Since the eleventh commandment has already been declared by spectators at Sabina Park to be "Dowe shalt not bowl", perhaps the twelfth commandment, as decreed by the ICC, is that "Harbhajan shall bowl at the exact speed of 84.31 kph with his two feet pointing away from each other at precisely 12.53 degrees". What they're effectively doing is telling him how exactly he must bowl. This will just destroy the youngster's career. They might as well have banned him from playing any further. At least his record would still be intact. Now it is not inconceivable that he slips from nearly 200 wkts at an avg of 28 to 250 wickets at an avg of 35 and quits the game in disgust.

    Pakistan's woes did not end with a thrashing at Bridgetown in spite of bowling out West Indies on the first day. Shabbir Ahmed, who took 5 wickets in the game, was reported for an illegal bowling action by match referee Ranjan Madugalle. Being reported isn't an uncommon occurence for Shabbir either. He was first reported on debut, incidentally against West Indies. Last year, he was reported in New Zealand.

    His action will be studied by a member of the ICC's panel of human movement specialists and then a report will be submitted indicating if his action exceeds that measurable by the ICC's official stationery device, sponsored by LG Electronics. He will be allowed to play international cricket, as long as his board wants him to.

    Meanwhile there are reports coming out of Pakistan that all is not quite well in the camp. Shahid Afridi clashed with Younis Khan over his batting position during the first test.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:56 AM |
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    1 sledge(s): the univ has the video of the action that bajji needs to use and the on field umpires will randomly just suspect him for chucking and then watch videos at the end of the day and then 'convict' or 'acquit' him i much for cricket!

    By Anonymous Anonymous (30-May-2005, 5:49:00 PM)  

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