The chucking controversy May 12, 2005

Harbhajan slams the ICC

Cricinfo staff

Harbhajan Singh: 'Instead of concentrating on the game, I am just passing the time to wait for a clearance from the ICC' © Getty Images

Harbhajan Singh has slammed the International Cricket Council for the confusion over the legality of his bowling action and claimed that the allegations had had an adverse effect on his performance during the recent series against Pakistan. Harbhajan, 24, was reported for a suspect action twice in the space of three months and wondered how many more times he would have to undergo a similar procedure to get his action cleared.

"It's very frustrating for me," he told the Press Trust of India, "as I have lost my mental peace for no fault of mine but just due to a mere drama by ICC. Instead of concentrating on the game, I am just passing the time to wait for a clearance from the ICC."

Harbhajan said his lukewarm performance in the one-dayers against Pakistan, where he managed just three wickets in five games, was because of the uncertainty surrounding his action. "I could not fully concentrate on the game due to my disturbed mental status," he said. "It doesn't matter how strong you are, but such a controversy always affects your performance."

Harbhajan's action first came under scrutiny in 1998 before he was reported in December last year, on the tour of Bangladesh, and again in March during the series against Pakistan. "How many times [should] a bowler have to undergo the test, for which he has already been cleared," Harbhajan asked. "I am playing international cricket for the last seven years and it is really frustrating that you have to undergo the test every time, whenever you are pointed out for the same suspect action."

Under the revamped bowling review procedure, Harbhajan had to undergo a biomechanical test within 21 days of his action being reported but the ICC had delayed the appointment of a panel, thereby hampering his plans of playing county cricket in England. "I wanted to participate in the English county championship," he added, "but in such a state of mind how will I be able to do justice to the game and the club which I am going to represent."