Shabbir showing improvement under Woolmer
Shabbir Ahmed, the Pakistan fast bowler, is showing improvement as he works with Bob Woolmer, the national coach, to remodel his bowling action, which was declared illegal by the International Cricket Council recently. Instead of being sent to Australia for remedial work, Shabbir has worked with Woolmer on reducing the degree of straightening in his bowling arm.
"Woolmer has reported back that Shabbir has responded well to the work done on his action so far," said Saleem Altaf, the director cricket operations, to The News. "He has reported that there is a definite improvement in Shabbir's action and hopefully the need to send him abroad for rectifying his action will not arise."
Shabbir was called for the third time in his career during the first Test against West Indies in Barbados two months ago. Further tests on his action in England confirmed that his elbow extension exceeded the 15-degree limit set by the ICC, and subsequently, he was suspended from international and domestic cricket for an indefinite period.
"It's not right to take any decision to send Shabbir abroad in a hurry; first we want to see how things go after his sessions with Woolmer and then if there is still a need to send him to Australia we'll do it," Altaf continued. "Woolmer is confident as he has watched Shabbir's action closely and feels that it can be improved.
"The position is that if we play Shabbir today and his action is reported again it means he'll be suspended from international cricket and we don't want such a situation so we are taking it step by step."