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Pakistan paceman Shabbir Ahmed has become the first bowler to be banned for one year because of an illegal action, the International Cricket Council said on Monday.
Shabbir was reported for the second time during the first Test against England [Images] last month and an independent assessment by the University of Western Australia has confirmed he bowls with an illegal action.
"He was first reported and suspended earlier this year but returned to international cricket following remedial work on his action and a full bio-mechanical analysis that demonstrated that he had made the necessary adjustments to his bowling style," the ICC [Images] said in a statement.
"Having been reported and assessed as bowling illegally for a second time within two years of the first period of suspension, Ahmed has received a mandatory one-year ban."
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed [Images] said Shabbir's ban was regrettable but appropriate.
"It is clear that Mr Ahmed has the capacity to bowl with a legal action but it would seem that on occasion he has the tendency to revert to old habits," he said in the ICC statement.
"Having had the opportunity to remedy this flaw but not being able to do so consistently, a suspension for 12 months provides him with the opportunity to permanently address the concerns that have been identified.
"I hope that Shabbir will be able to use his time out of the game at international level to get the consistency needed in his action to ensure a successful return to the game," said Speed.
Shabbir has played 10 Tests and 32 one-day internationals, and was withdrawn from the England Test and one-days series when his bowling action was queried.
"It is a big blow for us because Shabbir has been a key member of the side. We will sit down to review the situation," Pakistan Cricket Board official Abbas Zaidi told Reuters in Rawalpindi.
"We were concerned with his case since he was reported for the second time this year. Obviously the tests on his action have not been good for him," Zaidi said.
The bowling action of another Pakistan bowler, off spinner Shoaib Malik [Images], has been passed as legal following analysis at the University of Western Australia.
"Should he revert to bowling the `doosra' delivery or should his action deteriorate -- as with any bowler -- it is possible that he could be reported again or be called," the ICC said.
"If such a situation arose, Shoaib would be expected to undergo further independent analysis of his action."
Pakistan bowlers have faced numerous problems with their bowling actions. Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar [Images] has been reported three times and cleared and all rounders Shahid Afridi [Images] and Mohammad Hafeez [Images] have also been reported.
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