Selective justice seems to be widespread amid some increasingly murky decisions of the International Cricket Council (ICC), as Mohammad Hafeez endures a one-year ban after failing the biomechanics test conducted at Chennai earlier this month.
The ICC, led by arguably the most controversial figure in their chequered history, N Srinivasan, continues to hog the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Srinivasan ostensibly occupies the ‘hot seat’ at the helm of the governing body of the game with apparently none of the members drawing the courage to question his alleged involvement in the Indian Premier League corruption scandal that has resulted in a ban for two teams, including Chennai Super Kings — a franchise owned by the man himself.
On the other hand, the ICC clampdown on suspect bowling actions reeks of a clear bias against the so-called ‘lesser teams’.
Hafeez, who has visited the Chennai biomechanists no less than three times in the last six-seven months, is now facing a career threatening and depressing prospect of fading away as soon as his oft-susceptible batting form deserts him.
At the other end of the spectrum, Indian veteran Harbhajan Singh continued to ‘flex’ his elbow following a return to international cricket during the recent Bangladesh tour. Even in the ongoing Zimbabwean tour, match officials seem to have turned a blind eye towards Harbhajan.
Forget a ban, the 35-year old who recently went past Wasim Akram’s tally of 414 Test wickets has not even been called once despite his incredibly dubious bowling action.
In the ongoing Zimbabwean tour, Harbhajan bowled no less than 30 overs absolutely scot-free in the ODI series. Perhaps an elbow kink in a blue Indian shirt becomes invisible, while one in a green Pakistan shirt shakes the very foundations of cricketing morality.
PCB’s deep slumber
The PCB has refrained from raising its voice on the questionable ‘suspect action clampdown’ tactics deployed by former Indian spinner Anil Kumble-led cricket committee of the ICC.
The richly experienced think tank failed to revise the date of the Chennai lab appointment for Hafeez following a delay in his Indian visa — eventually the batsman had to warm the bench for the Pallekele Test since the date of the Test clashed with the match dates.
Till now no official has approached the ICC and asked for an explanation of the shoddy process and the now gravely evident bias against ‘Pakistani chuckers’.
However, that does not mean chucking is not rampant in the country. The board is also yet to take concrete steps to iron out chucking from the domestic and club cricket either, at least a dozen bowlers with dubious bowling actions appeared for various departmental outfits in various Ramazan T20 tournaments held in Karachi and Faisalabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2015.
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