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ICC crackdown should have come after World Cup: Waqar

KARACHI: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has questioned the timing of cricket authorities’ crackdown against chucking just months away from the World Cup, and suggested that rules on bowling actions be relaxed for spinners.

In an interview with AFP, the former pace great said key all rounder Mohammed Hafeez’s confidence was left shattered after he was reported for a suspect action in an Indian domestic tournament, a fresh blow to Pakistan following the loss of Saeed Ajmal to a chucking ban.

Ajmal, the world’s leading one-day bowler, faces a race against time to complete remedial work by the World Cup, to be held from February to March in Australia and New Zealand.

He was suspended earlier this month after he was found to straighten his elbow up to 43 degrees — well beyond the 15 degree limit prescribed under the rules, the point where a kink becomes noticeable to the naked eye.

Since then, Hafeez and Sunil Narine have been among four players reported during an Indian tournament. Though the action has no direct bearing on international cricket, Waqar said the bowlers would now be under intense scrutiny.

“Is this the right time to enforce the protocols and the technology?” he said.

“I am asking this because everyone plans ahead of the World Cup, and the suspensions will badly hit the teams whose bowlers have been suspended or questioned.

“I mean the protocols and the technology should have been enforced after the World Cup,” he added.

Ajmal’s suspension came as part of a wider drive by the International Cricket Council against bowlers with suspect actions, with Sri Lanka’s Sachitra Senanayake and Kane Williamson being suspended in July this year.

Bangladesh’s Sohag Gazi and Al-Amin Hossain along with Zimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya were all reported after Ajmal.

The bans have thrown a spotlight on the controversial “doosra” delivery, which turns in the opposite direction to orthodox offspin but is delivered using the same wrist action.

Waqar suggested that the delivery could not be bowled legally and the ICC should amend their laws to accommodate it.

“When a bowler bowls a doosra, his elbow must bend beyond limits, that’s natural and I think a solution must be found.“

Waqar added that Hafeez, who is a major part of Pakistan’s limited overs teams, had been left scarred by the experience of being reported.

“I know they have reported him under a process but that is confidence-shattering for one of our key bowlers.

“The Pakistan Cricket Board is facing something of a chucking crisis at home, suspending 16 bowlers last week after 30 were reported for suspect actions.

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