The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Shadow’ over Pak bowler’s action
- For now, name kept under wraps to avoid souring goodwill trip

Karachi: The Indian team has “strong reservations” about the action of a specialist Pakistani bowler, who featured in the opening ODI here. However, despite strong feelings, the ball is entirely in the umpires’ court.

“There’s no provision in the rule book which allows the opposition to formally question the legitimacy of somebody’s action... Had that been allowed, a complaint would definitely have been lodged,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph.

The source didn’t identify the bowler as the mood in what is being projected as a goodwill trip could quickly sour.

Yet, the source added: “Some of the players are really upset that the on-field umpires (Simon Tauffel and Nadeem Ghauri) don’t seem to have initiated action... It’s to be seen whether a repeat gets noticed...”

Incidentally, though a Match Referee can also take steps to haul up a bowler with suspect action, it’s become a convention to let the umpires ‘bell the cat’, as the saying goes.

According to the accepted practice, an umpire reports to the Match Referee who, in turn, refers the issue to the International Cricket Council. As a first step, the parent Board is given the opportunity to have the action “rectified.”

While some Pakistani bowlers have run into trouble in recent times, India’s slate isn’t clean either: Harbhajan Singh underwent “corrective steps” in late 1998 and, in mid 1997, Rajesh Chauhan was in the news for much the same thing.

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