|Player:||B Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, AME Roberts|
DateLine: 1st June 2006
Former West Indies fast bowling great Andy Roberts has opined that Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar have "suspect actions".
Roberts’ call has re-opened the chucking debate. "They don't have many good quality fast bowlers right now. The only two that I can see and talk of are Lee and Shoaib and both in my mind are suspect," Roberts said while speaking to The Indian Express.
Roberts noted Lee is one of the best athletes he has seen but one or two of his deliveries are suspect. Incidentally both Lee and Akhtar had come under the International Cricket Council (ICC) scanner before being cleared but Roberts was not convinced.
"You look at Shoaib from side-on, you look at him from the back, I wonder if hyperextension can be that and all that they say it is," said Roberts, who possessed one of the most fluent actions in the history of the game. Roberts, who took 202 wickets in 47 Tests, lashed out at the ICC for "encouraging chucking" by allowing a bowler to bend his arm to 15 degrees.
"To be honest, I would say that the ICC is encouraging chucking in cricket," Roberts said. He also added that by raising the limit to 15 degrees, the ICC is encouraging people to bend their arms. That's all I have to say. It should remain what it is and umpires should be allowed to be free to do their work as they see it.’’
Roberts, 55, lashed out at coaches for the decline of fast bowling, saying pacemen are born, not made. "They are born to bowl fast. It's not that everybody can pick up a ball and run in and bowl fast. There has to be something there. "But if you look at the coaching methods of today, we want everybody to do the same thing. We want everybody to bowl line and length. And that's taking away from the pace of the ball.’’
Roberts said Brian Lara's West Indians had made an encouraging start by beating fancied India 4-1 in the recent home one-day series, but they should be more dominant in their victories. "That is just a beginning. You have to show me that you can do it over a period of time. It's encouraging to win but I would like to see us being a little more dominant when we win," he said.
India, seeking their first Test series victory in the Caribbean since 1971, will play four Tests against the hosts. The first match begins on Friday in Antigua.