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Friday, 31 December, 1999, 16:49 GMT
Shoaib shock at 'chucking' ban

Concerns focus on Shoaib's fearsome bouncer
The world's fastest bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, has said he is "totally shocked" after being suspended from international cricket because of concern over his bowling action.

The Pakistani paceman, who fastest delivery is around 95mph, has been accused of "chucking" - failing to bowl the ball with a straight arm - by the International Cricket Council.

To me his action is 100% correct and we will stand by him

Wasim Akram
Pakistan have been told by the ICC to remodel Shoaib's controversial action, which was questioned by match referee John Reid during a Test series against Australia.

Not every delivery from the "Rawalpindi Express" is said to be affected, but officials were concerned about the straightening of his arm immediately before a bouncer or a quicker ball.

Pakistan Cricket Board secretary Shafqat Rana confirmed the 24-year-old would not be available for the tri-nations series against Australia and India next month.

"We have been informed by the ICC about this unfortunate decision. We have been asked to work on Shoaib's action," he said.

The ICC will reconsider Shoaib's case in a month.

Pakistan captain Wasim Akram is supporting Shoaib
The bowler said he was totally shocked by the decision.

He said: "I'm very disappointed because they won't give me a definite word as to what is wrong with me.

"I haven't been informed of anything. I was planning to just spend a quiet New Year's Eve in my room."

"They've just told me to re-model my action, but I can't say anything more because I'll be in trouble," added Shoaib.

Blow for Pakistan

A nine-member ICC committee outlawed the player, who is due to play for Nottinghamshire next season, after an hour-long conference on Thursday.

The ICC's decision was communicated to Pakistan's team manager, Brigadier Mohammad Nasir, just hours after the side returned to Australia, where they suffered an inglorious 3-0 Test series defeat last month.

Rana added: "It is a big blow for the team and cricket. He is great attraction for cricket fans all over the world. We never found anything foul in his action."

Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has publicly backed Shoaib, who helped his country to the final of last summer's World Cup.

"To me his action is 100% correct and we will stand by him," he said.

'A tragedy'

Nottinghamshire second XI coach Mick Newell described the ban as "a tragedy" for Shoaib, who is due to arrive at the club in May.

Notts' cricket manager Clive Rice is currently in South Africa and Newell said the club would not decide what to do about the situation until talks have been held with Shoaib and the ICC.

"Obviously we're upset for Shoaib and, equally, we're concerned about where it leaves us," said Newell.

"It's a tragedy for him. There can't be anything worse for a bowler than to be accused of throwing and to suggest that he must re-model his action is a drastic thing to tell him to do."

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See also:

22 Dec 99 | Cricket
ICC probe Akhtar 'chucking' claim
30 Nov 99 | Cricket
Shoaib accused of 'chucking'
28 Nov 99 | Cricket
Aussies complete clean sweep
10 Sep 99 | Cricket
Shoaib seals Trent Bridge move
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