Australian domestic news January 30, 2009

Bird ordered for tests on suspect action

Cricinfo staff

The umpires have raised concerns over Aaron Bird's action three times this season © Getty Images

Aaron Bird, the New South Wales fast bowler, has been reported for a suspect action for the second time in three seasons and faces a minimum three-month suspension if it is illegal. Bird is capable of bowling in the high 140kph range and is the leading wicket-taker in both the Twenty20 and one-day competitions this season.

Bird surprised Victoria's batsmen in the Twenty20 final and picked up three wickets, but it was one of three matches where the umpires raised concerns. The officials also reported him following FR Cup matches as far back as October due to Bird "displaying a doubtful bowling action with some of his deliveries".

He will be free to continue playing for New South Wales, but was left out of the Sheffield Shield match starting in Newcastle on Friday. "Within 21 days of being notified of a report, a bowler must make himself available to undergo an analysis of his bowling action at the Australian Institute of Sport biomechanics laboratory in Canberra," a Cricket Australia spokesman said. "An assessment report, stating whether his action is legal, will be sent to Cricket Australia within 14 days of the completion of the testing."

If Bird's action is found to be illegal he will be suspended for at least 90 days. After that period he will be able to undergo more analysis in a bid to be cleared.

This season he has 13 Twenty20 wickets at 14.07 and 20 victims in the FR Cup. He was reported in 2006-07 but the testing on his action, which was eventually cleared, was delayed by a season due to stress fractures.