NEW DELHI, Jan 31: Indian coach Greg Chappell has re-opened the debate about Pakistan Shoaib Akhtar’s bowling action, saying there was “seriously something different about it” after Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble were struck on the head by paceman in Karachi.

In a thinly veiled attack on Shoaib Akhtar, Chappell said he would not recommend anyone follow his action, especially with bouncer he calls his “effort ball”.

“His action, from what guys tell me, is very difficult to pick up. There is something seriously different about it. Sometimes people are just caught by surprise. I have seen a lot of people hit by him, not the least Tendulkar and Kumble. I think we can do with our players not being hit like that,” Chappell on Tuesday told India’s 24-hour television channel Times Now.

“I would seriously recommend people not to follow it (his action),” he said.

Akhtar was twice reported by umpires over throwing allegations but his action was finally cleared by University of Western Australia’s testing centre in 2001. The tests found that he hyperextended his elbow because of an abnormality in the joint.

But Chappell contested that ruling. “I don’t buy the argument that it’s because of a deformity. But I’m not a doctor to make a comment on the legality of delivery,” he said.

“The ICC has some new software they are using to scrutinise actions and everyone who is playing at the highest level, including Shoaib and Muralidran, should be checked,” he said.

But West Australian biomechanics expert Bruce Elliott, who carried out the testing of bowlers such as Akhtar and Muralidaran, and will scrutinise South African spinner Johan Botha, said it was unnecessary to re-examine Pakistani paceman and Sri Lankan spinner.

“Both of them were tested under same conditions as what we’re going to be using for Botha. They have already been tested and cleared. Shoaib gets hyperextension, which the ICC says is OK, and rightly so.” he said.

Just for the record University of Western Australia testing centre twice cleared Pakistan’s another pacer Shabbir Ahmed but later he was finally banned for one year.—PPI

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