Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have announced that off-spinner Sohag Gazi, who was recently banned from bowling, is likely to work with the same coaches who helped Abdur Razzak when he was banned for the same problem in 2008.
Gazi was banned after he was found to be flexing his elbow over the 15-degree limit for every single one of his deliveries.
“He is an important player, particularly in Test cricket,” BCB cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan said. “We will try to correct him as soon as possible. We had experienced coaches working with Abdur Razzak when he had the problem in 2008-09. So we are hoping to do the same for Gazi. We will try to ask the coaches who worked with Razzak, to help Gazi. If needed, we will get more experienced people on board. We also have an opportunity to use facilities in Chennai.
“He is coming [to Dhaka], and we will discuss everything together. It is very difficult to say how long it will take for him to come back, but we will try our best. We have to take this matter very seriously. We will only send him for a final test when we are confirmed that he is clear. We cannot risk Gazi.”
Former Bangladesh fielding coach Mohammad Salahuddin worked with Razzak in 2008 and revealed that he told Gazi to call him after his action had been reported in the second ODI against the West Indies in August.
“The moment I read online that his action was reported, I told him that he should call me immediately,” Salahuddin said. “I can help him as long as I get time off my current job. Ultimately, it is up to the bowler. He has to want it himself.
“Some bowlers sit and wonder whether they can bowl the same way with a changed action. If they can’t bowl the same way, then there is no use changing the action, they feel. But one also has to consider how they feel and how hard it is to hold on to the same quality as a bowler.”
Salahuddin is also confident that he can rectify Gazi’s action in almost no time at all.
“Judging by how quickly Abdur Razzak returned to international cricket, I feel that it [remodelling the action] is not too difficult,” Salahuddin said. “He was such a determined bowler who really wanted to change his action, he had a lot of desire to return to international cricket. He took me to the BKSP in Khulna, and he used to bowl after normal training time in the Bangladesh team’s nets, making sure he was doing the right things.
“Razzak’s action was around 29 degrees when he was reported in 2008. I have his full report from that time. I think Sohag Gazi is in a similar situation so the challenge for him too should be similar. What also helped Razzak was that he had a problem in 2004 before the 2008 suspension. So he knew what was going to happen and what he was supposed to do.”
Salahuddin added that it was understandable why off-spinners have been the main targets of the ongoing International Cricket Council (ICC) crackdown.
“Off-spinners have to bowl a lot to right-handers against whom they don’t want to be monotonous by just bringing the ball in,” he said. “They try the other one, that either straightens or spins out.
“In the process of doing something different, they change their action a bit, then a bit more and without realising, they end up making changes in other parts of their action. Sometimes, what happens is that it takes their action right to the edge of chucking.”