‘Aaqib Javed was thrilled’ as ICC clears bowling action for UAE all-rounder Mohammed Shahzad

Shahzad, 35, was picked as a batsman for the four-day Intercontinental Cup against Ireland starting on June 2. He is set to play in a friendly against Scotland in a three-day match starting on Tuesday, reports Amith Passela.

Mohammed Shahzad, right, of the UAE, shown here bowling against Pakistan at ICC academy in Dubai Sports City in Dubai, had his bowling action cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday. Pawan Singh / The National
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Mohammed Shahzad, the UAE all-rounder, has had his bowling action cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after undergoing a test in South Africa earlier this month.

Shahzad, 35, was picked as a batsman for the four-day Intercontinental Cup against Ireland starting on June 2. He is set to play in a friendly against Scotland in a three-day match starting on Tuesday and is free to resume bowling duties.

“This is the best news I received this morning and have immediately conveyed it to the coach Aaqib Javed,” said Mazhar Khan, an Emirates Cricket Board administrator.

“Shahzad can resume bowling in international cricket now that his action has been found to be legal.

“Aaqib was, of course, thrilled. He told me he was pretty confident Shahzad’s bowling action would be cleared. His selection for the I-Cup and the World Twenty20 qualifiers in July also in Ireland has been vindicated.”

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The ICC released a statement on Monday announcing that the tests conducted in Pretoria revealed that the amount of elbow extension in all of Shahzad’s deliveries was within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under ICC regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions.

The umpires are still at liberty to report Shahzad in the future if they believe he is displaying a suspect action and not reproducing the legal action from the test.

To assist the umpires, they have been provided with images and video footage of the bowlers’ legal bowling action.

The Pakistan-born cricketer was reported after an ODI against Afghanistan in Dubai in November 2014.​

Elsewhere, Australian Trevor Bayliss is set to become England coach ahead of compatriot Jason Gillespie, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.

The Yorkshire coach Gillespie was widely expected to get the job but new England cricket director Andrew Strauss has opted for the 52-year-old Bayliss who led Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final, the newspaper reported.

Bayliss has also coached Australian state side New South Wales and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. Paul Farbrace was put in charge of the England team for the current two-Test series against New Zealand after Peter Moores was sacked. The five-match Ashes series against Australia starts on July 8.

After two nail-biting finishes in Lahore in the Twenty20 series marking the return of international cricket to Pakistan, the hosts and Zimbabwe move to the three-match one-day series on Tuesday aiming to build for the future.

Pakistan won the Twenty20 series 2-0 on Sunday in front of a packed audience of 27,000 at Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium, but they will be far from happy about the manner of both wins, which saw them nearly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

The matches were played under massive security, with 4,000 policemen guarding the stadium and another 2,000 deployed on the route from the team hotel to the venue.

Security has been ratcheted up to avoid a repeat of the 2009 attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus, which killed eight people and cast Pakistan into sporting exile for six years.

Pakistan’s one-day captain Azhar Ali, who did not feature in the Twenty20s, said the huge excitement surrounding the tour had helped the team forget their 3-0 ODI series defeat in Bangladesh last month.

“The excitement on the return of international cricket was so big that it helped us put our Bangladesh defeat in the back of our minds,” said Azhar, who took over after Misbah-ul-Haq retired following the World Cup in April.

“It was disappointing to lose in Bangladesh, but we will look to build a team for the future and improve on what we did wrong in Bangladesh.”

apassela@thenational.ae

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