Indian Premier League 2009 May 14, 2009

Botha signs up with Rajasthan

Johan Botha, the South African offspinner who was recently cleared to play the World Twenty20 despite his doosra being banned, has signed up with the Rajasthan Royals. He is likely to feature in Rajasthan's match against Mumbai on Thursday after he joined the team in Durban, Rajasthan coach Darren Berry said.

Confirming the news, Botha said Manoj Badale, the head of Emerging Media, owners of Rajasthan franchise, had called him two days ago to tell him that he would be part of the rest of the tournament. "I am confident of playing the rest of tournament," Botha told Cricinfo. "I also have the option of playing next season but that still needs to be worked out." Botha is a replacement for Shaun Tait, who was ruled out because of injury.

Botha had reportedly been in talks with Rajasthan before the start of the tournament but that had been put on hold following his action being reported suspect during the one-dayers against Australia.

Shane Warne, the Rajasthan captain, said Botha would be a great boost to the side who are missing their key bowlers Tait, Shane Watson and Sohail Tanvir this season. Rajasthan also are without their Indian bowlers Amit Singh and Kamran Khan who were reported for suspect actions. "Johan Botha is a sensational player and we were disapointed when he couldn't be part of our squad at the start of the tournament," Warne said. "It is a real boost that he can now make an impact when called upon." In six Twenty20 internationals over the last year, Botha has taken five wickets at a strike-rate of 26.4 and an economy of 5.18.

Botha's action was previously reported after his Test debut against Australia at the SCG in January, 2006. He was suspended from bowling the following month when testing confirmed the illegality of his action. In September 2006, Botha's action was once again found to be illegal even after he had worked on it. He then corrected his action, which was deemed legal upon re-testing, and he resumed playing international cricket in the 2007 Afro-Asia Cup.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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