Lara calls for West Indies to establish academy

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The Independent Online

Brian Lara has called for a restructuring of the West Indies Cricket Board, insisting the game in the Caribbean is lacking in discipline. The currently injured batsman, formerly the West Indies captain, believes the team's poor form of recent years is down to flaws in the WICB's structure.

The current team are not to blame for the poor results according to Lara, who has called for an academy to be introduced. "Hopefully with Mr [Wes] Hall, the new WICB president, we can have an infrastructure that is going to cater for us being top-class cricketers in the future, because Australia, England, India, everybody has an academy," Lara said. "They have the system and the money to ensure that these things happen. Nobody is going to stand by and let natural ability beat them anymore."

Lara hit peak batting form during the Windies' tour of Sri Lanka, despite their 3-0 Test series defeat. He struck 688 runs, at an average of 114.66, but suffered an injury in the final Test that looks set to keep him sidelined until February.

He added: "You need to be disciplined, focused and dedicated and that's what's happening around the world and not happening in the Caribbean."

Shoaib Akhtar could soon be back in action for Pakistan after his country's national board informed the International Cricket Council that it considers stage two of the investigation into his much-debated bowling action to be complete.

The Pakistan Cricket Board's conclusion is based upon the report of the University of Western Australia's Human Movement and Sciences department, which was sent to the ICC a fortnight ago by the PCB.

The report stated: "Shoaib Akhtar was born with an abnormal upper limb [bowling arm]. This limb will always give the impression of an unorthodox position during delivery.

"No amount of practice or technique training can modify these two anatomical characteristics. Shoaib Akhtar should be permitted to bowl for Pakistan without further concern as to his action."

The PCB's director, Brigadier Munawwar Ahmed Rana, said: "The ICC will now circulate the University of Western Australia's report to all international panel umpires and referees, asking them to pay particular attention to the report."

Should Shoaib be called before the ICC again, stage three will be invoked and the full medical evidence placed before the ICC Bowling Review Group for their final decision.