July 7, 2002

Ruchira Perera cleared to bowl after remedial action

Ruchira Perera
Ruchira Perera
Photo CricInfo

Fast bowler Ruchira Perera, who was reported for having a suspect bowling action after Sri Lanka's first Test at Lord's, has been given the green light to resume bowling after making modifications to his action.

Perera plunged Sri Lanka into a fresh `chucking' controversy during the first Test, as the world's media homed in on Perera's bowled action following damning slow motion replays on Channel 4.

Umpires Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Darryl Harper reported Perera straight after the game, initiating the first phase of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) three-stage process for dealing with illegal actions.

The first stage requires the local board to analyse his action, take any remedial action that is deemed necessary, and then report back to the ICC within six weeks.

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) appointed a three-man panel, including the BCCSL's umpiring director K T Francis, fast bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake and former Sri Lanka spinner Lalith Kaluperuma.

The three-man panel met the BCCSL's director of cricket operations Bandula Warnapura on Friday to submit their report. After the meeting one of the panelists said: "When we studied the footage, which the ICC had given us, there was an obvious problem and we rectified that with Ruchira."

The panel stressed that Perera's suspicious action had developed just prior to or during Sri Lanka's tour of England. According to coach Dav Whatmore, the problem arose when Perera modified his wrist action, possibly during an A tour to Namibia in March.

Although ICC regulations allow a bowler to continue playing during the first stage, Perera played no further part in the Test series. However, he was very close to playing the final Test after injuries to Nuwan Zoysa and Charitha Buddika.

Perera, one of Sri Lanka's brightest fastest bowling prospects despite the controversy, is now expected to play a warm-up game against Bangladesh so that the BCCSL can obtain fresh video clippings for their final report.

Perera is the fourth Sri Lankan bowler to have his action questioned by the ICC in recent years following Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Dharmasena and Suresh Perera.