The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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'My action is clean'
- Harbhajan Singh to continue bowling the doosra
- For now, BCCI reserves comment

Calcutta: Whatever the anxiety within, Harbhajan Singh was calm when The Telegraph spoke to him at the team hotel (Agrabad), in Chittagong, on Tuesday afternoon.

'Main bilkul theek hoon' Na jee, main ghabra nahin raha,' Harbhajan, whose doosra (the one which goes away from right-handers) has come under the International Cricket Council (ICC) scanner, remarked.

Just to reinforce that, perhaps, the offie quickly added: 'Whatever is happening now is, in my opinion, a passing phase' I'm confident this period is going to get over soon.'

Harbhajan, 24, was reported to the ICC on Monday ' after the Test series in Bangladesh ' and will now have to work with a biomechanist, within the next six weeks, 'to identify and address any flaws.'

The scenario, of course, may change if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) isn't satisfied with the complaint made by the umpires (Aleem Dar, Mark Benson, Mahbudur Rahman) and Match Referee Chris Broad.

In that eventuality, Jagmohan Dalmiya is again going to come into the frame in a big way.

However, if the BCCI cannot find fault with the umpires and Broad, then, a biomechanist will have to be appointed from the ICC's 'approved' list.

Manager Ramchandra Sudhakar Rao, by the way, has already faxed the ICC's communication to the BCCI. Dalmiya, though, hadn't 'seen the papers' till late on Tuesday.

'The BCCI doesn't intend reacting in a hurry' If something is amiss, corrective measures have to be taken,' explained a well-placed source.

While Harbhajan didn't himself say so, one learns he has been in touch with the BCCI brass. Captain Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright must also have spent some time on the phone.

In fact, Sourav and Wright were the first to offer moral support once the team management learnt about the doosra being questioned.

'Both said I shouldn't worry and continue giving off my best' That did make me feel better' I'm also grateful to the many well-wishers who have called to extend support,' Harbhajan pointed out.

Asked if he intended keeping the doosra under wraps in the three-match ODI series, beginning Thursday, Harbhajan replied: 'No' I haven't been asked not to bowl a particular delivery' In any case, I'm convinced my action is clean' Main hundred per cent sure hoon aur main complete bowling karoon ga'

He continued: 'I would probably have been worried had I become the first bowler to be scrutinised' Lekin, kitno ko suspect kiya gaya hai and all of them are playing' I believe in God and I believe in myself.'

Significantly, there's no bar on the offie playing. Moreover, he can't again be reported within the next six weeks.

Six years ago, Harbhajan was made to work with Fred Titmus after being accused of chucking. He emerged better (even becoming India's only hattrick-getter in Tests) and stronger.

The 'mental strength' gained then could come in particularly handy in the next few weeks.

Footnote: Intriguingly, except Zimbabwe's Blessing Mahwire, the other five whose actions have been questioned in 2004 are all from the subcontinent'

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