October 11, 2001

Kirtley reported to ICC for suspect bowling action

CricInfo

James Kirtley has vowed to clear his name after being officially reported for a suspect bowling action after being scrutinised during England's victory over Zimbabwe in Bulawayo yesterday.

Match referee Colonel Naushad Ali has reported Kirtley to the International Cricket Council after telling the media about his concerns last week. Colonel Ali had watched Kirtley on his England debut in Harare. He then requested television footage of the game, promising to study Kirtley more closely in the second.

However Kirtley believes that having conquered the problem before, there is no reason why he shouldn't do so again.

"It's one person's opinion and a situation I've been through before," he said. "I've shown the mental strength to get through this in the past and I'll do it again.

"I got cleared last November by the ECB and nothing has changed in the last 11 months.

"Ever since I was a young boy I've had subtle joints and my arm hyper-extends which may explain the doubts over my action, but I'll come out the other side I'm sure."

Coach Duncan Fletcher has insisted Kirtley will be available for selection in the final one-day international against Zimbabwe on Saturday, and stressed that if he was left out it would "be nothing to do with this."

Kirtley would like to make his fourth one-day international appearance. "I'd love to play on Saturday - this tour is something I've worked for all my cricketing life.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and I'd love to be part of England's plans in the future -- I believe I've shown I have the mental strength to deal with this and perhaps even be stronger for it."

Kirtley can expect the full support of the England team during remedial work over the next six months.

"My main concern is for James because he's been an absolute blessing for me on this tour," said the England captain Nasser Hussain.

"Being picked for England has been the highlight of his career and this has blown up in his face again.

"He has has my full support, the support of the England team and hopefully all of English cricket and I'm sure he's mentally strong enough to get through this."

Kirtley now faces extensive work to alter his action over the next six months. Under ICC procedures the matter is now referred to the England and Wales Cricket Board, who will work alongside Kirtley to solve the problem with his action before submitting a report back to the ICC for their approval.

Kirtley may continue bowling during that period, but if he is reported twice in international matches over the coming year he receives an automatic 12-month suspension.

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