January 4, 2001

ICC Bowling Reporting and Review Process

The ICC has announced details of a new three stage process for dealing with bowlers reported as having suspect bowling actions in international cricket.

Its Cricket Committee, under the chairmanship of Sunil Gavaskar, has developed the new process to overcome problems experienced with the former system.

The main aim of the new process is to be fair to players involved, while also acting decisively in cases where officials suspect that a bowler's action contravenes the Law. Its administration will require all Boards and the ICC to set up their own groups of bowling advisors*, while the ICC will also establish a Bowling Review Group** to deal with the third, and final stage of the process.

Nothing in the process overrides the responsibility of the umpire to apply Law 24 on the field of play.

Reporting Procedure

This applies to all bowlers in Test and One Day International cricket:

  • standing umpire/s produce a report summarising concerns about any bowler with a suspect action, which is passed to the match referee
  • the referee provides detailed video footage of the bowler and a master copy of the tape is couriered immediately to the ICC in London
  • at the end of that day's play the referee notifies the team manager and the ICC of the report. Within 24 hours of notification the referee issues a media statement confirming that the player has been reported and will be subject to the review process.

Stage One

  • the home Board's bowling advisors review the referee's report and work with the player to correct his action. Within a six week period the advisors complete and send an assessment report to the ICC. This will be circulated to the player and the ICC panel of umpires and referees
  • during this period the bowler is allowed to continue playing

Stage Two

  • if the player is reported again within 12 months of the first report the ICC, in consultation with the relevant Board, will appoint one of its own advisors to work directly with the player on his action. A further detailed assessment will then be submitted by the ICC advisor within three months.
  • the report will be circulated as in Stage One and the bowler can continue to play

Stage Three

  • a third report in 12 months will activate the ICC Bowling Review Group, which will meet with the bowler and his representatives to discuss the previous two assessment reports, video footage and any further evidence supplied by the player or his Board.
  • at the end of the hearing the player will leave and a vote taken to determine if he has an illegal action. If a majority is passed to this effect the bowler will be banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months from the date of the hearing.

"We have consulted with many former Test players and captains in developing the new process and believe it represents a fair but effective solution to the problem", said ICC Cricket Operations Manager Clive Hitchcock.

"This is a sensitive area and we have put forward a system that offers help and assistance to bowlers suspected of having problems with their actions. The three stages give ample opportunity for a player to overcome these and demonstrate conclusively that his action is entirely legal," he added.

  • *Bowling advisors will consist of ex-international cricketers with coaching experience. Groups are to include experts in all major styles of bowling.
  • **The ICC Bowling Review Group will consist of a member of the Code of Conduct Commission as Chairman, a current referee, an ex-international player, an ex-international umpire, a human movement specialist and the ICC Cricket Operations Manager
  • The ICC Cricket Committee-Playing is made up of the following 14 members:
    Sunil Gavaskar, India, chairman, Allan Border, Australia, John Reid Jnr., New Zealand, Zaheer Abbas, Pakistan, Dr Ali Bacher, South Africa, Duleep Mendis, Sri Lanka, Kris Srikkanth, India, Andy Pycroft, Zimbabwe, Jackie Hendriks, West Indies, A Roquibal Hassan, Bangladesh, David Acfield, England, Geoff Edwards, Canada, Steven Lubbers, Holland, Harilal Shah, Kenya
  • Their recommendations were in turn ratified by the ICC Cricket Committee-Management, made up of the full time chief executives of ICC member countries.