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Tuesday, 4 January, 2000, 18:45 GMT
Shoaib returns despite ICC review

Akhtar Shoaib Akhtar's deliveries have been the subject of much debate


Shoaib Akhtar has been sent home from Pakistan's tour of Australia, despite his "chucking" case being reviewed by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The fast bowler has been suspended for a month over his bowling action, which a nine-man ICC panel said last week was illegal.



We are committed to save the future of the world's fastest bowler, our national asset and a hero
Tauqir Zia of the PCB
The bowler had been advised by former Australia paceman Dennis Lillee to spend a few days in a cricket academy in Perth to obtain film of his bowling action.

But Pakistan team manager Brigadier Khawaja Mohammad said the row and Shaoaib's presence was affecting the team's preparation for the forthcoming one-day series against Australia and India.

"It's not good for the team," he said. "If you have uncertainty in your mind then it creates pressure."


Akhtar The ICC have agreed to review their panel's decision
Tauqir Zia, head of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said on Tuesday that the ICC had agreed to review the decision following the PCB's appeal on Monday.

"We are committed to save the future of the world's fastest bowler, our national asset and a hero," said the senior PCB official.

Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding will so be asked to help Shoaib, as will former Pakistani pacemen Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz

But Pakistan's cricket chief criticised a claim by PCB secretary Shafqat Rana that the decision was racially based.



It's certainly a problem in concentration if you're mentally troubled
Team manager Khawaja Mohammad
"It was a very immature and sad statement coming from a very senior official of the PCB," said Zia.

Nevertheless he was concerned about the ICC ruling, and said his board had the right to challenge it.

"In my opinion, the ICC has not done justice to us.

"I do not know whether it was deliberate or not. You cannot throw somebody out for raising objections on one delivery.

"He has played 13 Tests and 26 one-day internationals and was watched by world-class umpires like David Shepherd and Peter Willey.

"But suddenly, when the team goes to Australia, things started happening. Why do such things start in Australia?"

Match referee John Reid of New Zealand raised suspicions over Akhtar's bowling action in his report to the ICC after the Pakistan-Australia Test series in November.

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See also:
31 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Shoaib shock at 'chucking' ban
22 Dec 99 |  Cricket
ICC probe Akhtar 'chucking' claim
03 Jan 00 |  Cricket
Pakistan board fights Shoaib ban
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.