Shabbir Ahmed's new action under the scanner December 21, 2006

ICC receives report on Shabbir's action

Cricinfo staff

Shabbir Ahmed's immediate future rests in the hands of the ICC © AFP

The ICC has received a report on the banned Pakistani mediumpacer Shabbir Ahmed's modified action and will make a decision as to whether his action is now within the limits prescribed once it has "read and digested" the contents of the report.

Shabbir became the first bowler to be banned from international cricket after he was reported twice last year for a suspect action. He has not played for Pakistan since December last year. But having spent the time working on his action with Sarfraz Nawaz, he recently went to Australia to undergo tests on his new action at the University of Western Australia, under the supervision of Professor Bruce Elliott and Daryl Foster.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) say preliminary reports from Elliott suggest that the action is within the prescribed limits now, though the ICC has to go through the official report. An ICC official told Cricinfo, "The report has just arrived. Once we have read and digested the report we will write to the PCB confirming the findings and then it is expected we will issue a media release with the details.

"The report needs to show that Shabbir is bowling within the legally prescribed limits in order for him to resume bowling at international level," the official added. The board are confident that the action has been corrected for now at least and that Shabbir can resume a career blighted by problems with his action since he made his international debut in 1999. He has been reported a total of four times in ten Tests and 32 ODIs.

Salim Altaf, director operations, PCB, told Karachi-based daily The News that they were confident that Shabbir will be able to represent Pakistan again. "According to the preliminary report we have received from Professor Bruce Elliot, Shabbir has improved his bowling angle and has brought it to 10 degrees which is below the 15-degree limit. It is because of this we are sure that he would be cleared by the ICC to play international cricket," said Altaf.

Pakistan are keen for a swift decision from the ICC. Shabbir has already been named in the 25-man squad which will report to the four-day training camp for the tour to South Africa in January. He has been in impressive form domestically and Pakistan will be eager to utilise his awkward bounce on the faster pitches of South Africa if he is selected. "Shabbir is a good medium pacer and if he is fit would be a valuable addition to our bowling attack," Altaf said.