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PCB unveils its own biomechanics lab in partnership with Lahore University of Management Sciences

(Photo Source: http://i.dawn.com/large/2016/05/57435ddfe53ec.jpg)
(Photo Source: Dawn)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finally launched its own biomechanics lab after a long delay of close to eight years. The facility has been formed in partnership with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Lack of consistent policies and complete indifference in the board has delayed the launch of the lab which will now be vital in avoiding illegal bowling actions in future.

“The laboratory contains all the equipment and facilities required to meet international standards and to get ICC’s accreditation,” Shaharyar said at a media briefing after inaugurating the lab at LUMS here on Monday. PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed and vice-chancellor of the university accompanied Shaharyar at the briefing.

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PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed and vice-chancellor of the university accompanied Shaharyar at the briefing.

“It is a great achievement that a project, which could not be launched during the last eight years, has now become functional. The lab will be of immense value in helping curb the trend of illegal bowling actions prevailing among [budding] bowlers in the country,” he added.

“Mohammad Hafeez, who is currently not allowed to bowl in international cricket as his action has been challenged twice by the ICC, is going to appear in another biomechanics test on June 8. And this lab will help him rectify his action before appearing in the ICC test.

“Soon as many as 27 other bowlers, whose actions have been declared illegal on the domestic circuit, will also appear in this lab to try to rectify their action,” added the PCB chief.

Shaharyar said though LUMS would shift the lab from the current location to some better place in future, even at the current place the lab could meet all the standards set by the ICC.

Declaring that PCB’s next target was to get ICC accreditation for the biomechanics lab, for which experts from the world governing body would soon visit Pakistan, Shaharyar said the players of other sports including football and hockey could also benefit from the PCB lab.

The lab along with its related gear was imported back in 2008 during Dr Nasim Ashraf’s tenure, albeit any proper planning for making it functional. At that time, Mudassar Nazar was working as NCA director.

It is an established practice worldwide that biomechanics labs function in collaboration with a university, as operationalising and functioning of these labs require experts from varied fields.

Though Australian biomechanics expert Daryl Foster, during his 2007 visit to Pakistan had also advised the PCB to install the lab at a university and the University of Punjab was also ready for it, PCB’s priority was to set up the lab at the NCA, which didn’t materialise.

Later, Dr Nasim tendered his resignation and during the tenures of next two PCB chairmen — Ijaz Butt and Zaka Ashraf — the project was overlooked. And Najam Sethi during his one-year tenure as PCB chairman also ignored the matter.

But when the ICC banned two frontline Pakistani bowlers — first ace off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and then seasoned all-rounder Hafeez — for having illegal bowling action, the importance of the lab was somehow realised by the national cricket authorities. Shaharyar then took personal interest to start the lab with the assistance of a private university, ignoring all government varsities.

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