Sri Lanka in England 2014

Senanayake's action reported

ESPNcricinfo staff

June 2, 2014

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Sachithra Senanayake removed Chris Jordan lbw, England v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Chester-le-Street, May 25, 2014
Sachithra Senanayake has caused England problems during the one-day series © PA Photos
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Sachithra Senanayake, the Sri Lanka offspinner, has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action during the fourth one-day international against England at Lord's which Sri Lanka won by seven runs.

Senanayake was reported at the end of the match by on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Ian Gould, TV umpire Chris Gaffaney, and match referee Jeff Crowe who handed over the copy of the report to the Sri Lanka team manager on Sunday.

The umpires' report cited concerns over a number of deliveries that were considered to be suspect.

Senanayake's bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC process relating to bowlers reported in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. He is required to undergo testing within 21 days, and, during this period, he is allowed to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known.

SLC has expressed surprise at the umpires' report in a, because "Sachithra had over the past 2 years played many bilateral/ ICC tournaments and four earlier games in the current tour without any hint of suspicion." Their release also said the board "has no option but to adhere to the laid down process" prescribed by the ICC.

Suspicions had previously been raised about the legality of his action during a 2011 tour of England, with the Sri Lanka A team. Senanayake had then worked to remedy his action with Sri Lankan coaches, after which he underwent biomechanical testing in Perth. Those tests found his bowling to be within the legal limits.

Senanayake is Sri Lanka's leading wicket-taker in the one-day series with eight scalps at 12.50 and an economy rate of 3.82. He has been the team's top spinner in limited-overs cricket over the past year, regularly operating within the Powerplays - a role he performed during Sri Lanka's World T20 triumph.

The doosra and a seam-up delivery are among his variations from the stock offspinner. It had been his effective use of those variations in domestic cricket that helped secure Senanayake both a lucrative IPL contract in 2013, and a second stint at the top level that same year.

Speaking before the ICC announcement, Senanayake described how important it was for the new breed of offspinners such as Saeed Ajmal, Sunil Narine and himself to experiment with a variety of grips and actions.

"When you are playing these kinds of formats - one-dayers and Twenty20 - we should think earlier than the batsman," he said. "If the batsman wants to hit me, I'm always thinking 'Okay, he's going to hit me this ball' so I'm doing one of my variations so he thinks twice.

"I'm still working on another one. You will get to know it later, hopefully within two to three months."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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