ICC rejects Pakistan board's six-day Tests proposal September 1, 2006

Shabbir to go to Australia to correct action

Cricinfo staff

The Pakistan board hopes that Shabbir Ahmed's stint in Australia will strengthen his case for a return to international cricket © AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans to send Shabbir Ahmed, the fast bowler who is undergoing a one-year ban for a suspect bowling action, to Australia for lab tests on his bowling action before the ICC reviews his ban again.

"Shabbir is at present playing league cricket in England and we are in touch with him. We have already worked on his action which has shown improvement," Saleem Altaf, PCB's director of cricket operations, told Reuters.

"We are hopeful that by the time the ICC reviews his ban that his stint in Australia under bio-mechanic experts would strengthen his case for a return to international cricket."

The board had appealed to the ICC this January to review Shabbir's case, but the ban was upheld by an independent bowling review group in Dubai. The group's decision meant that Shabbir became the first bowler in international cricket to be banned for a period of 12 months on account of a dodgy action.

The PCB must appeal to the ICC once the term of the ban is over. As per the ICC's directives the bowler must submit evidence from experts that his bowling action has been corrected, only then would the ICC inform umpires that the ban had been lifted.

Altaf also revealed that the ICC had rejected Pakistan's proposal to organise six-day Tests for the home series against West Indies in November and December this year. "We had made a suggestion to have six-day Tests to save lost playing hours due to weather conditions in winter. But it didn't come through," he said.

But he was hopeful that not too much time would be lost during the Tests. "They are being held in November and we also have the option of extending play under lights," he added.

West Indies will play three Tests in Pakistan beginning November 7 - one each at Lahore, Multan and Karachi.