'Feels like 500kg has been lifted from my body' - Gazi
Bangladesh offspinner Sohag Gazi was elated after his bowling action was cleared by the ICC. He believed a slight modification of his footwork helped his reworked action, which will help him become a better bowler.
"I am very happy," Gazi told ESPNcricinfo. "I can't even explain to you. It feels like a 500kg weight has been lifted from my body. I can console my parents as much as I can, but the fear within me was always there. If I had failed the test, I would have been set back by a year. I can't even imagine that. You should remember I requested the board to give me this retest so it always challenging to me."
Gazi was suspended on October 8 last year after he was reported during the second ODI against West Indies in August. He went through remedial work in the nets before being allowed to play domestic cricket in November.
Gazi had said repeatedly that he just needed time to redo his foot placement on his pivot. The slightly closed foot turned his action sideways, which ultimately helped him get over the glitch. He was supposed to get help from Mohammad Salahuddin, the former Bangladesh fielding coach who helped Abdur Razzak with his bowling action back in 2008. But he later took help from Bangladesh's current spin bowling coach Ruwan Kalpage and BCB's computer analyst Salahuddin, and worked relentlessly for a couple of months to hone out his new action.
"It was always about my footing. I am now bowling sideways, I should have done that earlier," Gazi said. "Now I am bowling better, and with this modified action I have taken 17 wickets in the Dhaka Premier League and the eight-wicket haul in the NCL match I played last week. I am the same bowler.
"When I got banned, I was supposed to be sent to Malaysia. During that time I spoke to [Abdur Razzak] Raj bhai and we discussed and saw videos that my footwork needs to be mended. It had to be slightly sideways and that would fix everything."
His 17 wickets in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League came for Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club but the selectors did not name him in the 30-man preliminary World Cup squad. He was also one of three cricketers to be dropped from the central contracts list.
"I hope that I return to the Bangladesh team soon, that is my biggest goal now. I hope to continue bowling well in the domestic competitions. Now I will bowl happily."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84