Cricket: ACB clear Pakistan's Shoaib of throwing

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The Independent Online
SHOAIB AKHTAR, the Pakistan and Nottinghamshire pace bowler, has been cleared of throwing by the Australian Cricket Board.

The Board's chief executive, Malcolm Speed, ended the affair with a brief telephone call to Yawar Saeed, the Pakistani manager, yesterday. The umpires Ross Emerson and Terry Prue had sent the ACB a video of a tour match between Pakistan and Western Australia last Wednesday, querying Shoaib's action - but Speed said the matter could go no further because the match was not sanctioned by the International Cricket Council, so there was no official referee.

The fact that Emerson and Prue failed to query Shoaib's action in their match report, only becoming suspicious while watching television highlights the next day, meant the ACB was unable to involve the ICC's nine-man throwing committee.

Australia's new coach, John Buchanan, was unhappy the issue had been raised. "I think it does more of a disservice to cricket than anything else," he said. "It certainly disturbs the individual no matter who it is. I'm sure [Muttiah] Muralitharan would say the same thing."

Emerson sparked a furore last summer when he called Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan off-spinner, for chucking in a one-day game against England, prompting the Sri Lankan captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, to lead his players off the field in protest.