Pakistan's Shabbir keen to return after action ban
Shabbir, who has taken 51 wickets in 10 tests, will fly to Australia on Sunday to undergo final checks on his bowling action, which will then be sent to the ICC.india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 19:13 IST
Pakistani pacer Shabbir Ahmed is confident of making a successful comeback after serving a one-year ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an illegal bowling action.
Shabbir, who has taken 51 wickets in 10 tests, will fly to Australia on Sunday to undergo final checks on his bowling action, which will then be sent to the ICC for clearance before his ban ends on December 19, 2006.
Last year, the 30-year-old became the first bowler to be banned under revised ICC regulations after his action was reported twice in 2005.
"Only I know what it has felt like to be out of international cricket. What really hurt is that the umpires reported me for only one or two deliveries, not my entire spells," Shabbir told on Thursday.
"I was reported for one or two balls in 33 overs last year against England. It has been very difficult for me to motivate myself buy I believe I can make another comeback after the ban," he added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board is pinning its hopes on Shabbir's remodeled action being cleared by the ICC, as they need the bowler to be available for the tour of South Africa and the World Cup next year.
The board has fast tracked his tests in Australia after losing key bowlers Shoaib Akhtar (two years) and Mohammad Asif (one year) to doping bans earlier this month.
The duo is appealing the suspensions.
Shabbir had bowled Pakistan to victories in back-to-back tests over the West Indies in Jamaica in May and than against England at Multan in November before being reported for his action.
Shabbir, who has been reported four times in his career, added that playing league cricket in England and domestic matches at home had helped him correct his action to a large extent.
"I have a slight problem with a round arm action now but there is definite improvement. I have changed my angle. That is why I am confident the tests will be successful in Australia and I shouldn't face any further problems," he stated.
First Published: Nov 16, 2006 19:13 IST