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Australia's Waugh shocked by Akhtar ban

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    Australia's Waugh shocked by Akhtar ban

    Australian captain Steve Waugh said he was saddened by the International Cricket Council's decision to ban Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

    "I must admit I was a bit shocked," Waugh said.

    "It's disappointing for the player and probably a little bit disappointing for the game because he's such an exciting bowler.

    "But there are rules there and if people think he's broken those rules then they have got to make a judgment on it."

    Akhtar will be sent home from his team's tour of Australia after a nine-man International Cricket Council panel announced on Thursday that his bowling action had been ruled illegal.

    Akhtar was only told of the panel's decision shortly after his arrival in Perth to prepare for a triangular limited- overs series with Australia and India starting next week.

    Waugh would not say whether or not he thought Akhtar actually threw the ball but did say he had some sympathy for the "Rawalpindi Express".

    "I think there has probably been hundreds over the history of cricket that have done a similar thing but these days there is more of a spotlight on things such as actions, Waugh said.

    "I'm sure throughout the history of cricket there have been many, many bowlers who have bowled with the same sort of action."

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