Coach defends Kirtley action
James Kirtley's county coach came to the England paceman's defence after the fairness of the Sussex seamer's action was again called into question.Updated: Dec 16, 2003 20:23 IST
James Kirtley's county coach came to the England paceman's defence here Tuesday after the fairness of the Sussex seamer's action was again called into question.
Press reports here Tuesday suggested match referee Clive Lloyd was to look at video footage of Kirtley bowling during England's drawn second Test with Sri Lanka in Kandy concluded Sunday.
But former West Indies captain Lloyd insisted Tuesday he was not looking into Kirtley's action.
Nevertheless the whole episode was something Kirtley, whose career has been overshadowed by doubts about the legitimacy of his action, could have done without.
Back in 2001 he was reported by Pakistani match referee Colonel Naushad Ali during a one-day series in Zimbabwe but subsequently underwent remedial work with then England bowling coach and former Test seamer Bob Cottam.
And Sussex coach Peter Moores insisted Tuesday that Kirtley's problems were behind him.
"It is a shame. He got in the side on merit. He got in there ahead of (James) Anderson, (Matthew) Hoggard and (Paul) Johnson and I thought he bowled quite well in the Test match," Moores told Sky Sports.
"This takes the focus away from the main thing which is his bowling and how well he is doing at the moment," former Sussex wicket-keeper Moores added.
But he was heartened by the comments of Lloyd, who said that as neither umpire had reported Kirtley's action to him there was no reason for him to be concerned.
"It sounds really positive," said Moores. "It sounds like Clive is trying to do his job. It sounds like he has no problem at all with James' action, which we don't.
"He was heavily scrutinised a couple of years ago, he remodelled it and had it checked again. He's okay now.
"It (his action) is slightly different. It's an individual thing. When you watch it slowed down there is quite a big twist of the arm but that's more rotation, which is quite legal.
"We're confident the movement of his elbow is no different to any other quick bowler at the moment."
Kirtley, 28, took four wickets at Kandy in what was his third Test match and Lloyd said: "I hadn't seen him bowl before and there's obviously been some speculation in the past. We will have to keep monitoring the situation as we do with all bowlers."
A sympathetic Lloyd added: "I can understand that it has been hard for James Kirtley. I was a cricketer and I understand the guy's position.
"Nothing has been reported so Mr Kirtley can rest assured and so can the England team that everything is fine. Nobody wants to mar this series.
"The young guy has had some problems before. He has rectified his action and if as such things changed then we would take it from there but at the moment everything is all right."
First Published: Dec 16, 2003 20:23 IST