The biomechanics lab at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) has been accredited by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as a testing centre for suspected illegal bowling actions from where not only home players but those from abroad can also benefit. This is, indeed, a breath of fresh air for Pakistan cricket.
Previously no such facility was available in Pakistan and local cricketers had to travel abroad in order to get their bowling actions tested if and when required. The only other accredited ICC labs around the world were the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane; Loughborough University; Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai; and the University of Pretoria.
ICC’s approval is of great importance for domestic and international cricketers from Pakistan, as they are frequently under the scanner due to their suspect bowling actions. Especially, the domestic cricketers — who only get to know about whether their action is in line with ICC rules once they step into international cricket — can now know beforehand about where they go wrong. Also it’s easier to modify your bowling action at a young age, rather than at a later stage of your career.
Pakistani players have suffered due to suspect bowling action, in the past. Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, all-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik as well as pacer Shabbir Ahmed were suspended from bowling and had to rectify their actions, in order to be eligible to bowl once again.
Even though the LUMS biomechanical lab project was initiated during the times of the former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Nasim Ashraf, in 2007-08, but it was not until the tenure of Shaharyar Khan in 2016 when the work on the project started properly.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2019.