Australian domestic news July 17, 2009

Aaron Bird's action cleared

Cricinfo staff

Aaron Bird, the New South Wales fast bowler, has had his action cleared by Cricket Australia. The board announced that the 25-year-old's suspension had been lifted after a biomechanical analysis of his bowling action.

Bird is capable of bowling in the high 140kph range and was the state's leading wicket-taker in both the Twenty20 and one-day competitions during the 2008-09 Australian domestic 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". His action was subsequently tested under the Cricket Australia Doubtful Bowling Action Procedures in February. The results found that not all of his deliveries were legal and he was suspended for a minimum period of 90 days later that month.

Having served the suspension, Bird applied to have his action reassessed with the testing conducted in June at the Australian Institute of Sport biomechanics facility in Canberra. The results, second time around, indicated that Bird's bowling action complied with the CA tolerance level - an elbow extension of 15 degrees or less for every delivery.

"Different people have voiced their opinions, I can't do much about it. There will always be that stigma there but all I can do is worry about my performances," Bird told the Sydney Morning Herald. "There's always been a question mark there, and it's a bit frustrating because it's just the one ball [the bouncer].

"It's only a few degrees, it is something I have never been able to feel. I don't think anyone has been able to feel [whether they are extending the limit] before."

Bird was also reported in 2006-07 but the testing on his action, which was eventually cleared, was delayed by a season due to stress fractures.