ICC CEO David Richardson has lauded Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for doing a fantastic job in making his action legal after he was reported twice in his career for suspect action in 1999 and 2006.
During an event, where ICC announced ‘Hublot’ as the official timekeeper for World Cup 2015, Richardson said:
“At one stage his (Harbhajan Singh) action came under a bit of scrutiny. He did a fantastic job in adapting his action to make sure that he was now bowling legally. And now there is no question mark about the way he bowls. I think yes the ICC has cracked down on bowlers that are extending their arm during the delivery and there is no conspiracy about the timing of it.”
In the past three months, there have been quite a few spinners (Saeed Ajmal, Sohag Gazi, Malcolm Waller, Mohammad Hafeez) who have banned or reported for illegal action. Many people think that ICC should have taken this step after the World Cup, but Richardson said that enough is enough.
“We reached a stage where too many bowlers were starting to bend the rules (excuse the pun). And the cricket committee backed up by the ICC board decided that action needed to be taken. But having said that I really think that bowlers that have been reported are doing the right thing by working on their actions to come back as legal bowlers. And also the message is out there loud and clear to teams that don’t mess, don’t pick players who have got suspicious actions. Pick people who can bowl legally.”
Harbhajan Singh, Hublot Champion Ambassador was present at the event and he fully agreed to the step taken taken by ICC to remove all ills from cricket and make it clean.
“Not just once but twice I have been called. Once it was 1999 when I just started my cricket and 2006. So there is a limit set by the ICC and if any bowler goes beyond that limit there are people who are watching it. They are not asking anyone to stop playing cricket but all they are saying just go to the school and learn to bowl within the limits of ICC.
“So I think it is great thing what you have done and as Dave said the doors are not closed for anyone, if you bowl within the limit you can still play cricket and enjoy bowling the “Doosra” or whatever delivery you want to bowl. So it’s a great initiative taken by the ICC.”
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