Karachi- The storm unleashed by the suspension of Saeed Ajmal by the ICC due to an illegal bowling action shows no sign of subsiding. Pakistan’s premier off-spinner was tested and subsequently banned after his action was found in contravention of the allowed limits and he was asked to carry out remedial action before the ICC would consider his return to International Cricket.

Many ex-players and members of the public reacted with disappointment to this news, a few even going as far as accusing unseen hands of a conspiracy against Pakistan Cricket. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board seems to have acted with great maturity to quell such rumors and accepted the ICC’s findings.

The PCB, under the chairmanship of Shahryar Khan, went further to demonstrate their resolve to stamp out the whole issue of illegal actions by naming 16 domestic bowlers who were deemed to have suspect actions. In addition, and most importantly, the PCB also announced its intentions to establish a purpose built facility in the shape of a Biomechanics Laboratory at the NCA in Lahore.

Still under construction, the Biomechanics Laboratory will utilize machines with state of the art technology to detect suspect actions and to monitor any remedial work undertaken to ensure that Pakistan bowlers’ actions will conform to the rules laid down by the ICC.

PakPassion.net were granted special permission to view the progress of construction of this facility and also to speak to the Director of Game Development, Haroon Rashid as well as Dr Sohail Saleem who holds the position of the Senior General Manager Medical & Sports Sciences at the NCA. The suspension of an experienced player such as Saeed Ajmal may have caught many by surprise, but to Haroon Rashid it is the younger and upcoming talent of Pakistan that needs special attention if the mistakes of the past are to be avoided.

Speaking on this issue he was adamant that Pakistan and the PCB had no option but to move in line with the modern times and approach this issue in a scientific manner "Over the years, administrators and players have become more scientific in their approach to cricket. We have seen a lot of technology used in the game and it’s no longer simply a game, which you just play and go home.

In Pakistan, however, we don't have solid infrastructure and that's why we face problems so that young bowlers have developed bad technical flaws which obviously increase the chances of illegal or suspect bowling actions. Over the years, we have come to know that a lot of players in our domestic cricket have developed illegal bowling actions. The PCB to its credit has taken stern notice of this development and is acting in line with the ICC’s policy to crackdown on bowlers with illegal actions," stated Haroon.

With the construction of a purpose facility, the PCB is demonstrating its readiness to address the issue head-on and Haroon believes that such an initiative is possibly only the second such facility in the region and will benefit Pakistan cricket for generations to come.

"We feel that we are ready to propel the development of the game in Pakistan with the help of the Biomechanics Laboratory, where we will be able to detect reasons of illegal bowling actions which will be of enormous help for coaches and experts in terms of remedial action needed to correct the problems. We have the equipment available with us and the building is under construction and we have been given a time limit of 6-8 months to get the building ready.

We are getting help from concerned quarters for the installation of the equipment, with all the stakeholders joining hands with us. This is very encouraging for us and we feel that the laboratory will be unique in the types of services it offers and possibly the second of its kind in Asia. Our efforts to work towards this goal have also resulted in positive feedback from all concerned and we are hopeful that the ICC will back this idea as well," added Haroon.

The NCA has had a admirable history of nurturing and developing future talent for Pakistan and it’s only natural that the Biomechanics Laboratory is being established within the environs of this institution. For Dr. Sohail Saleem, these are exciting times for the development of the technical development of the game in Pakistan and he hopes that the scientific approach to this issue will bear good results.

"This is indeed an excellent opportunity for PCB to lead the world with action. We are hiring biomechanics experts from Pakistan as well as from other international sources, who will provide us with valuable assistance. They will oversee the development of this project and will give us advice until we are accredited. Once we are accredited, we will become independent of external staff and be able to run this facility on our own."

In the most academic sense, the term Biomechanics is the study of the structure and function of biological systems such as humans and animals etc by means of the methods of mechanics. In the cricket world, this term has in recent times come to symbolize the science behind testing of the bowling actions of some big names in cricket such as former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar. However, no one at the moment is in any doubt behind PCB’s real motives to establish this facility.

"One of the main areas, this Lab will be working on, is the important issue of illegal bowling actions. If we are able to detect the difference between illegal and legal deliveries and if we have equipment matching international standards, there is a fair chance that this menace will be stamped out completely. We feel that with the ability to detect and fix such problems, we will have all our bowlers bowling with legitimate actions. The PCB has been very proactive in their drive towards this goal and have instigated an Illegal Bowling Action Committee which consists of Mushtaq Ahmed, Mohammad Akram, Ali Zia and one well known and experienced Umpire. They are working very hard to spot and rectify suspect bowling actions in our domestic cricket. The committee will definitely be helped by this facility which when complete will boast 21 video cameras, specialist software and radar guns etc."

With the completion of PCB’s Biomechanics Laboratory a few months away, the thoughts of most Pakistani cricket lovers are glued to the impending 2015 World Cup event in Australia and New Zealand where the presence of Saeed Ajmal could help Pakistan lift the coveted trophy for the second Time.

With the legendary father of the doora, Saqlain Mushtaq, present to impart specialist help to the beleaguered Saeed Ajmal, Dr Sohail is also hoping for a miracle turnaround in Ajmal’s fortunes and offers some hope for Pakistani fans “The support staff is working very hard, twice a day with Saeed Ajmal. There is definitely progress in Saeed Ajmal's case and hopefully we will hear something good in future,” he concludes.