Lehmann questions Samuels' action
Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann has been charged with breaching Cricket Australia's Code of Behaviour when he questioned the legitimacy of Marlon Samuels' bowling action after his side's loss to the Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium.
Lehmann is charged with breaching Rule 9 of CA's code which states that that a player or official must not "denigrate or criticise another player or denigrate or criticise an official, umpire, referee or team against which they have played or will play, whether in relation to incidents which occurred in a match or otherwise; denigrate or criticise another player or official by inappropriately commenting on any aspect of his or her performance, abilities or characteristics."
Samuels delivered four overs for just 18 runs in the Renegades win. He has the fourth-best economy rate of any bowler with 12 overs or more in this year's Big Bash League to date. "I've spoken to the umpires about it," Lehmann said after the game. "I just want something done. "He couldn't bowl in the IPL (Indian Premier League) last year, yet he can bowl in the BBL. "We've got to seriously look at what we're doing. Are we here to play cricket properly or what? "If he's deemed legal, I'm totally understanding of that. But from my point of view from 20 years' of cricket, I've got a problem with 120km/h off no steps."
Samuels was reported for a suspect action in the IPL in April by on-field umpires, Aleem Dar and Bruce Oxenford, and the third umpire Vineet Kulkarni while playing for the Pune Warriors against the Chennai Super Kings.
It was not the first time Samuels had problems with his action. He was reported for a suspect action in the third Test between South Africa and West Indies in Durban in January 2008. On field umpires Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar and third umpire Brian Jerling reported their doubts over his action, especially with respect to his "fast" deliveries. Roshan Mahanama, the match referee, subsequently informed both the ICC and the West Indies team management of the report, as per the ICC regulations governing the reporting process.
In September 2011 the ICC cleared Samuels' action after an independent test found his action to be legal. Cricket Australia did state out its policy on suspect actions, saying, "CA has a Doubtful Bowling Action Procedure and according to this policy, any bowler mentioned by three different umpires in the same season is reported. Umpires also have the option to bypass the mentions process and lodge a report directly if they feel it is warranted."
Lehmann's breach of CA's Code of Behaviour is now placed before a Commissioner for a hearing. CA said the date and time of the hearing is yet to be determined. It is not the first time Lehmann has found himself in trouble with cricket authorities. Whilst playing for Australia in January 2003 he was suspended for five One-day Internationals for breaching the ICC's racial vilification code.
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth