November 17, 2005

Shabbir Ahmed and Shoaib Malik reported for suspect bowling actions

Pakistan bowlers Shabbir Ahmed and Shoaib Malik have both been reported for suspected illegal bowling actions after the conclusion of Pakistan's opening Test match against England in Multan.

Both bowlers were reported by the on-field officials, Billy Bowden and Simon Taufel, the TV umpire Asad Rauf. ICC Match referee Roshan Mahanama said that they will be permitted to play international cricket pending the outcome of independent biomechanical analysis.

"Both players have been reported in the past and, while it has been shown that in laboratory conditions they are capable of bowling within the legal limits, the match officials had concerns with the actions they used during certain stages of this match when viewing their actions with the naked eye," said Mr Mahanama.

"This has led the team of officials to request the ICC to commission biomechanical reports into their actions in accordance with the new process introduced earlier this year."

The report will be handled under the ICC's revised bowling review process that was introduced in March 2005. Both players will be allowed to play international cricket - including the next Test against England - should they be selected. At any time during this period they are subject to being called on the field in accordance with the Laws of Cricket.

Mr Mahanama has informed both the ICC and the Pakistan team management of the report, as per the ICC regulations governing the reporting process.

Shabbir Ahmed

In reporting Mr Ahmed, the match umpires said that they had been satisfied when watching him bowl in the nets and during the early stages of the match that his action was legal. They reported the player, however, after noting a deterioration in his action from the third day of the match - in particular when bowling the `effort' ball and short pitched deliveries - which they suspected may be illegal.

This is the second time that Mr Ahmed has been reported under this process. If he is found to be bowling with an illegal action he will be suspended from bowling in international cricket for 12 months.

Shoaib Malik

In their report the match officials expressed concern that they could see extension in the elbow while Mr Malik was bowling with a `stop and prop' method of delivery.

Mr Malik's action was last reported in October 2004 before the new process was introduced.

His action fell outside the permitted limits at that time but, following remedial work, further analysis commissioned by the PCB identified an improvement in his action.

If Mr Malik is found to be bowling with an illegal action he will be suspended from bowling in international cricket immediately. He then has the option of applying to the ICC for a re-assessment of his bowling action at any time in order to return to bowling in international cricket.

Next steps

Both bowlers will now undergo independent analysis of their actions by a member of the ICC's panel of human movement specialists. This analysis involves a detailed comparison between the action of the bowler in the laboratory and the action he used in the match in which he was reported. This will take place as soon as practically possible, and within a maximum period of 21 days from receipt by the PCB of formal notice of the reports by the ICC.

The ICC will discuss the process with the PCB before coming to a decision on whether to use recent results of the biomechanical analysis of both bowlers' actions as a point of comparison or to undertake further laboratory analysis on either or both of these players.

Within 14 days of the independent analysis being carried out, the appointed specialist will supply the ICC with written reports advising the outcome of the bio-mechanical assessments.

As soon as the independent assessments are received by the ICC, copies will be supplied to the PCB. Should either player not accept the conclusions of the independent assessment he would be entitled to appeal to the Bowling Review Group which would comprise a member of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, a current ICC Match Referee, an ex-international player, an ex-international umpire and a human movement specialist.

The full regulations for the review of bowlers with suspected illegal can be found here