Johan Botha, the off-spinner and stand-in South Africa ODI captain, has had enough of the suspicion thrown at him for his bowling action.
“I have been cleared twice by the International Cricket Council, and please, that will be the end of it,” Botha told the Hindustan Times. He was first reported for a suspect action on Test debut in January 2006 and then again early this year during the home one-day series against Australia, while bowling the doosra.
The 27-year-old said that he wanted to forget the ‘throwing’ episodes and concentrate on his bowling. “You just block it out as best as you can. When you run up to bowl, you concentrate on things like what you want to do, where you want to land the ball, anything that you can control,” he said.
Botha was surprised to get a call in the middle of last week to play for the Rajasthan Royals after skipper Shane Warne pulled a hamstring and was at risk of missing the rest of the tournament.
“I was a bit surprised. A week before I got cleared, they said that I was not going to be allowed to play in this IPL. I thought this was over and was preparing for the World T20. Now that I have got cleared, I got called into the Royals team. It is nice to play in IPL, especially in South Africa because this could be a one-off and next year it could go back to India.”
When the call came to join the Royals, Botha did not imagine he’d play alongside Warne. “I thought I was going to replace Warnie. But then I was told we could be playing together, which we did in Durban. It was nice to get a game with the legend,” Botha said. “He is a brilliant captain and it’s a real honour to play with him.”
Botha said India were favourites to win the World T20 but added that the South Africans have also been getting good match practice in the IPL. “AB (de Villiers) and Jacques (Kallis) have played brilliantly. Graeme (Smith) has had one or two good knocks. Our bowlers have not been the greatest.
“Hopefully, as the squad comes together, we will start the tournament well. It is important to get the momentum early in the tournament.”