Kolkata Knight Riders’ spinner, Sunil Narine, was suspended from bowling in the CLT20 due to a suspect bowling action. The action was taken after Narine’s action was reported for a second time in as many matches during Thursday’s semifinal against the Hobart Hurricanes. It means Narine will not be eligible to bowl in the CLT20 final.
“After watching recordings of the match, on-field umpires Rod Tucker and S Ravi along with third umpire Vineet Kulkarni felt that there was a flex action in his elbow beyond the acceptable limit,” said the official release from the CLT20 organisers.
In the first game, his action was under scrutiny only when bowling the quicker deliveries.
Under the tournament rules, if a player receives a report while on the warning list, the player is suspended from bowling for the remainder of the tournament until such date he is cleared. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), however, has questioned the timing of the suspension which is just before the series against India.
The WICB feels with India likely too prepare turning tracks, especially for the three Tests, the touring side are likely to play three frontline spinners — Narine, Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn. “Given Sunil’s success in Indian conditions, there is a feeling that he poses the biggest threat to India, and in favourable conditions, he is the one bowler they would like to avoid facing,” said the source privy to discussions among West Indies officials.
Although, the suspension will have no bearing on international cricket, he will be under pressure.
A video analyst based in Australia who has access to Narine’s bowling footage feels the findings are not conclusive. “We have tried to decipher his action extensively, it is so difficult to tell from 2D images which are fed to us. Unless a 3D imaging is tried on him, we can’t be sure about it.”
The ICC crackdown in international games is also said to focus on bowlers wearing three-quarter or full sleeves to mask their action. A few still bowling in three-quarter sleeves have drawn attention. One prominent Indian spinner is thus likely to undergo scrutiny, to send out a message that no one will be spared.