Pakistan's fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed has been reported to the International Cricket Council for having a suspect bowling action.
Shabbir was cited by Darrell Hair and Billy Bowden, the two umpires, after they reviewed footage of his action taken during the fifth and final ODI between New Zealand and Pakistan at Wellington on Saturday. Chris Broad, the match referee, informed the ICC and the Pakistan management of the findings.
"The umpires asked to review footage of Ahmed's action from the match and after seeing this footage decided to report the bowler to the ICC," explained Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager. "This issue now comes under the ICC's regulations dealing with this matter and over the next six weeks Ahmed and the Pakistan Cricket Board will have the opportunity to work on any areas of concern. Ahmed will be able to continue to play during this time."
There now follows a two-stage process. The first phase, which Shabbir has now entered, allows him to continue to play international cricket while working with specialist advisers to be appointed by his home Board and a human-movement specialist from an ICC specialist panel to review his bowling action. This stage will last up to six weeks, and at its conclusion a report will be sent to the ICC. No further report can be lodged within this six-week period: however, the bowler remains subject to being "called" on the field by an umpire in accordance with the laws of the game.
If, after the first stage expires, Shabbir Ahmed is reported again then he would have to appear in front of a formal hearing of the ICC's Bowling Review Group (BRG), and he could face a 12-month ban.