Three of ICC's top 10 bowlers face suspension

Source: Published in Sports on Monday, February 2, 2015

Three of the the world's top 10 ODI bowlers face suspension from bowling over illegal action, says data released by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) on one-day international (ODI) rankings.

Currently residing at the top spot, Pakistan's ace spinner Saeed Ajmal was suspended from bowling by the ICC on September 9. Not only 'doosra', Ajmal's off-spinner was also declared to be illegal.

An ICC independent analysis revealed that all of the Ajmal's deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.

The 37-year-old off-spinner is undergoing remedial work on his bowling action and vows to make a comeback on international arena.

Sunail Narine of West Indies, the second best bowler in the world according to the ICC's ODI ranking, also faces suspension on similar charges.

Narine was reported twice for a suspect action during the last year's Champions League T20 and was later barred from bowling.

The off-spinner has also withdrawn his name from the West Indies World Cup squad, saying he needed more time to work on his remodeled action.

Narine has undergone intense remedial work on his action and preliminary tests have shown him bowling all his deliveries under the 15 degrees flexion allowance now.

On ICC's top 10 ODI ranking list, Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez is on the number eight spot and face similar suspension from bowling as that of Saeed Ajmal and Sunil Narine.

Hafeez’s arm both round and over the wicket exceeded the limit of 15 degrees. Over the wicket, Hafeez turned his arm at angles measuring from 16 to 18 degrees while round the wicket it ranged between 12 and 19 degrees.

Hafeez has also failed to clear two bio-mechanics test conducted to assess the legality of his bowling action.

ICC's crackdown on bowlers, especially spinners, was not received well by many experts of the game.

Former West Indies captain and batting icon Viv Richards believed the ICC’s crackdown on bowlers with suspect actions has come at the wrong time and it should have been done a while ago.

“In my opinion such action should have been taken some time ago and on a wider basis because these guys have been there for quite some time,” Richards had said.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood had also questioned the timing of the decision when the ICC had referred Ajmal for a suspect bowling action.

“It's not fair when they say he's not bowling with a legal action ... He's been playing cricket for so long, so why now?” Mahmood had said.

People Mentioned