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December 20, 2004
The Indian offspinner Harbhajan Singh has been reported to the ICC after the officials at the Chittagong Test decided that there were doubts over his doosra, a delivery which turns away from the right-hand batsman. Unofficial sources suggested that the degree of elbow-flexion involved was 22 degrees, well beyond the ICC's previous tolerance levels.
The report was made by Aleem Dar and Mark Benson, the on-field umpires, Mahbubur Rahman, the TV umpire, and Chris Broad, the match referee, at the end of the second Test against Bangladesh.
Malcolm Speed, the ICC's chief executive, explained that Broad had informed both the ICC and the India team management of the report. "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.
"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."
Harbhajan was reported in November 1998, and underwent corrective coaching in England afterwards. He is the sixth player to be reported since the ICC revised its process for dealing with suspect actions in 2004.
"All bowlers' actions are scrutinised and the match officials are empowered to make a report where they have concerns," Speed explained. "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 12 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 elite panel of umpires and referees for their information."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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