Not long ago, the name "Bilal Asif" would have rung zero bells among the Pakistan cricket fraternity. He had given up on his dream of playing cricket to do labor work in Kuwait in order to make ends meet in 2008-2009. It was only last year that he came out of cricket obscurity when he scored the fastest domestic T20 hundred in Faisalabad in the super 8s. Today Bilal Asif is the most talked about cricketer in Pakistan.

Yesterday he took five wickets and became Man of the Match in the deciding ODI versus Zimbabwe; today he has been reported for a suspect action. Yesterday he was Pakistan's answer to left-handed batsmen across the world; today he symbolizes the problem with off-spin bowling. Yesterday he was the center of everything positive in Pakistan on social media; today only negativity surrounds him on public forums. 

Sources at PCB have confirmed that Bilal Asif 's action was tested with cameras in the presence of the support staff at the NCA extensively and his action was declared clean and within the 15 degree limit by PCB officials. Reportedly out of the 60 deliveries he bowled yesterday, 8 were suspect, the rest have been deemed within the laws of the game. To blame Bilal Asif would be naive and unfair on a man who has done everything he was asked to do by the people who are supposed to eradicate and fix the issue of chucking in Pakistan's domestic cricket. 

This issue just gives light to an issue that has been swept under the carpet before by the PCB: domestic cricket has almost stopped producing quality off-spin bowlers. Those who do practice this art clearly are guilty of chucking. Bilal's case is different however - he uses his wrist more than his elbow and doesn't have the mystery deliveries that almost certainly lead to chucking. Even if his bend is more than 15 degrees it is still better than his contemporaries in Pakistan cricket at the moment. One can't help but wonder about the shortcomings of NCA as an institute, bio-mechanic testing is an essential part of modern cricket and yet it is ignored at what is supposed to be the center of excellence for Pakistan cricket.

The PCB can afford the equipment and they are well aware of modern day requirements (or at least should be), then why the ignorance? That is a question that has a thousand different answers depending on who you talk to at the NCA or PCB. 

To pass a verdict on Bilal Asif will be premature. He still has to undergo the official testing if asked, but it should by now prompt the PCB to acquire the required equipment and expertise. In Bilal's case he found a way from Kuwait's desert to the oasis of international cricket playing for Pakistan. Let’s hope he finds a way out of this.