ICL: Indian Cricket League

ICC lift bowling ban on Shabbir Ahmed


shabbirShabbir Ahmed was on Thursday celebrating a possible return to the world stage after the International Cricket Council (ICC) lifted a ban on the Pakistani medium pacer for an illegal bowling action.

“It is a very happy day for me because I am now allowed to play for Pakistan again,” said the 30-year-old bowler, the only man in international cricket to be banned for a year because of an illegal bowling action.

Shabbir was cleared by the ICC on Thursday after getting positive reports from Professor Bruce Elliot who carried out bio-mechanical tests to check the bowlerís action at the University of Western Australia last month. His 12 month ban expired on December 19.

“After examining the report from Professor Bruce Elliott following an independent reassessment of Shabbir Ahmedís bowling action at the University of Western Australia, the suspension on his bowling has been lifted by the ICC as he is found to be capable of bowling within ICC tolerance levels. Shabbir has now been permitted by the ICC to resume bowling at international level,” a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) statement said.

Shabbir was banned after being reported on two occasions for an illegal bowling action in 2005. According to ICC rules, a bowler can bend his arm by up to 15 degrees while hurling a delivery and anything above that is considered illegal.

The lanky Shabbir, who has taken 51 wickets in 10 Tests and 33 in 32 one-dayers, carried out corrective measures with the help of former Pakistan Test pacer Sarfaraz Nawaz earlier this year.

He remodelled his action and according to Elliotís report he is bowling well within the ICC rules.

“I have gone through the toughest time of life during the past one year but thanks to Allah it is all over now,” said Shabbir who has been invited for a conditioning camp that would begin in Lahore from December 26 in preparation for next monthís tour of South Africa.

If he proves his form and fitness, Shabbir is expected to be selected in the squad for the Test series against South Africa starting from January 11.

“It is something that I am really looking forward to since passing the tests in Australia,” said Shabbir who confessed that he had, at one stage, lost all hopes of playing for Pakistan following the one-year ban.

Some experts fear that Shabbir might not be able to bowl effectively after changing his action but the players himself is confident.

“I have worked very hard and am confident of doing well for Pakistan,” he said.

Shabbir said that there is a lot of cricket left in him adding that he was itching to bowl alongside the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif.

Shoaib and Asif are likely to return to the Pakistan line-up for the tour of South Africa after missing the ICC Champions Trophy and the home series against the West Indies because of doping bans.

However, they have now been cleared to play after a PCB appeals committee acquitted them of doping offences earlier this month.

Source:The News

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