Botha cited for suspect bowling action
Former South Africa spinner Johan Botha, who now plays for South Australia, has once again been cited for a doubtful bowling action and will undergo biomechanical analysis. Botha is still eligible to play and bowl and will only be suspended from bowling if the official report proves that he has an illegal action.
Botha's action was queried by the umpires following SA's opening domestic limited overs match against Victoria at Bankstown Oval on October 4. "Under CA's Doubtful Bowling Action Procedure, a bowler must undergo testing after a single mention for a suspected illegal bowling action in an interstate season," Cricket Australia said in a statement. "CA's policy requires cited bowlers to undergo testing within 14 days of being notified."
The South Australia Cricket Association (SACA) said they would back Botha through the process. "We acknowledge that there is a process to be undertaken and the SACA will support Johan and work with him though this process," Jamie Cox, the SACA director of cricket, said. "Johan will continue to lead our team in this week's Ryobi one-day cup fixtures and will complete the biomechanical analysis within the 14 day timeframe given by Cricket Australia."
Botha has had problems with his bowling action throughout his career. He was reported first soon after his debut Test in January 2006 and was subsequently banned from bowling by the ICC. Another examination in August that year found his action to be illegal once again and he was cleared to bowl only in November.
In 2009, following an ODI against Australia in Port Elizabeth, Botha was reported once again and this time the ICC ruled that his action while bowling the doosra was illegal and he was banned from bowling it. His other deliveries, however, were found to be within permissible limits and since then Botha had no problems with his action, until now.
Cameron White, the Victoria batsman, faced Botha during the match in which he was cited, and said he did not think any doosras had been delivered during the spells he faced. "That [the doosra] might have been one of his problem deliveries in the past," White said. "But to be honest he didn't bowl a doosra as such to me the other day when I was batting."
Botha's requirement to undergo testing has resulted partly from a change to CA's dubious bowling action protocols. Before this season a bowler had to be cited three times within the same season to be subjected to testing. However a single report is now sufficient to call in the biomechanists, following several voices raised in support of more vigilance around throwing, particularly the development of the doosra.
"The question is being asked now about 'do we develop the doosra bowlers or not'. That's a question of integrity for Cricket Australia. I don't think we do," John Inverarity, the national selector, told an Australian Cricket Society lunch in Melbourne last year. "I just think it's a serious issue, and I think we've got to keep our integrity and teach our bowlers to bowl properly."