Blues fast bowler free to play this season September 18, 2007

Aaron Bird cleared of suspect action

Cricinfo staff

A back injury meant Aaron Bird could not have his action tested until this month © Getty Images

Aaron Bird, the New South Wales fast bowler, has had his bowling action cleared by Cricket Australia. Bird was reported last December after the umpires in two state games raised questions over his action.

However, biomechanical analysis has shown Bird was within the tolerance level of an elbow extension of 15 degrees or less for every delivery. Although Cricket Australia's regulations required Bird to undergo the testing within 21 days of the report, stress fractures in his back meant he could not bowl properly until this month.

The Australian Institute of Sport testing results mean Bird, 23, can try to add to his four first-class games and 14 domestic one-day appearances this season. "I am pleased by the findings of the independent report," Bird said.

"I was always confident that there would be no problems. I have worked extremely hard over a number of seasons and have already had a taste of first-class and one-day cricket. I am looking forward to putting this issue behind me and concentrating on the season ahead."

New South Wales retained Bird as a contracted player for 2007-08 even though there were still questions over his availability and the new coach Matthew Mott hopes Bird can now fulfil his potential. "It's fair to say the concern about his action was very disconcerting for Aaron, but that is now behind him," Mott said.

"We at Cricket New South Wales are extremely proud of his tenacity to overcome this issue and hope this provides inspiration to all members of our squad. Aaron is a talented player who is also a fine athlete. He was a leading contributor in the one-day title success in 2005-06, playing a key role in the final. He is fit and well at the start of the season and I look forward to seeing his progress during the summer."