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UWA highlights loopholes in ICC’s current testing procedures

PERTH: The University of Western Australia (UWA) has expressed concerns over the suspension of Pakistan off spinner Saeed Ajmal saying that he wasn’t tested appropriately.

Previously UWA was the sole laboratory for testing bowlers with suspect actions.

Speaking about Ajmal, UWA’s Associate Professor in biomechanics, Jacqueline Alderson said while conducting test of Ajmal in 2009, they found that the ‘frame of ball release’ was crucial in establishing the legality of his action more than any other bowler we have tested.

“A large number of Ajmal’s deliveries would have been illegal in the 2009 testing if the point of ball release was identified to be “1-2 frames or 0.004-0.008 seconds later”, she added.

Defining the testing of fast and spin bowlers, Alderson said identifying the point of ball release for spinners is trickier than doing the same for fast bowlers and seamers. She said spin bowlers release the ball out of different parts of the hand, which may or may not involve the fingers, any automated marker tracking method should not be used to identify ball release.

According to UWA following are four loopholes that can be found in current testing procedures, (1) the method of judging the moment of ball release – and whether this could disadvantage spin bowlers, (2) the repercussions of placing markers in different places, (3) the influence of both elbow ‘flexion’ and ‘extension’ and (4) the continued use of 2D imagery in testing.

Saeed Ajmal underwent biomechanical test at newly established testing center in Brisbane on August 25. Other new testing centers have been introduced in Cardiff and Chennai.

According to the ICC report, Ajmal was found to flex his elbow up to an average of 42 degrees against permissible limit of 15 degree.

 

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