The chucking controversy January 4, 2006

Sarfraz Nawaz will work on Shabbir's action

Sarfraz Nawaz will work on Shabbir Ahmed's action and prepare a video of modified action © AFP

The ICC will hear out an appeal by Shabbir Ahmed, the Pakistani medium-pacer, on January 19 in Dubai against the one-year ban imposed on him for having an illegal bowling action. Shabbir, 29, was banned last month by the ICC after he was reported twice in 2005 for a suspect action, the last time during the first Test against England at Multan in November. Saleem Altaf, Director Cricket Operations of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said the ICC would constitute an appeal committee to hear out Shabbir's case.

"I'll be accompanying him for the hearing and we are confident we can at least get the one-year suspension reduced. We'll contest the ban on the grounds that there is still no standard protocol for dealing with bowlers with suspect actions," he stated. Shabbir's action has been reported four times since his debut in 1999 and he is the first bowler to be banned for a year from international cricket under the new ICC bowling action regulations.

Altaf said the PCB had asked Sarfraz Nawaz, former Pakistan international, to work for a ten-day period on Shabbir's action before the appeal hearing. Sarfraz played 55 Tests and took 177 wickets besides grabbing 63 one-day wickets for Pakistan.

"Obviously if we are going to plead his case we need to ensure we've some evidence when appearing before the committee that his action has improved. Sarfraz will work with him and then prepare a video of his modified action which we'll submit at the hearing. We'll also discuss the various protocols applied by the ICC to judge a bowler's action," he stated.

Altaf said a strong case was being prepared in Shabbir's defence, as it was obvious if the one-year ban remained his career could be finished. "We are heartened by the fact that Professor Bruce Elliot, the biomechanic specialist, in his official report has noted that Shabbir is capable of bowling within the ICC limit of 15-degree tolerance level for bowlers to extend their elbow," he said. Shabbir has taken 51 wickets in 10 Tests and 33 wickets in 32 one-dayers.