Sri Lanka news July 12, 2014

Senanayake banned from bowling due to action

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake has been banned from bowling in international cricket, after his action was found to be illegal following bio-mechanical assessment in Cardiff.

Senanayake was reported for a suspect action during Sri Lanka's fourth ODI against England at Lord's on May 31, and testing at the end of June found he exceeded the allowed 15-degree flex limit in all four types of his deliveries which were assessed. Among Senanayake's variations from the stock offbreak are a carrom ball and a flipper.

If the bowler is unhappy with how the biomechanical tests were conducted, he now has the option of lodging a notice with the ICC within 14 days, in order to request a hearing with a Bowling Review Group (BRG). A BRG usually includes a human-movement specialist, a former player, a former umpire, a current match referee and two ICC officials.

If Senanayake doesn't appeal the decision, he will have to undergo remedial work on his action before he is allowed to bowl in international cricket again. He had been suspected of an illegal action once before when he had toured England with Sri Lanka A in 2011. But he had worked on his action on that occasion, and been cleared in subsequent tests undertaken at the University of Western Australia.

If he comes back to international cricket and is then reported and then found guilty of having an illegal action again, within two years of his first suspension, Senanayake will be banned from international cricket for a minimum of one year. Though Senanayake has been through the testing process before this occasion, this is his first suspension. Both he and Sri Lanka cricket will however be wary of rushing him back to top-level cricket until thorough remedial work has been undertaken.

Senanayake has been a key component of Sri Lanka's limited-overs success in 2014, often bowling inside the Powerplay overs and presenting significant menace through the middle overs. He had been the top wicket-taker in Sri Lanka's ODI series in England in May and June, and had contributed to World T20 and Asia Cup victories as well. He had an ODI average of 34.82 from 37 appearances, stretching back to early 2012.

The ICC's findings are also a significant blow to Sri Lanka's World Cup preparation, as Senanayake was expected to be Sri Lanka's lead spinner in that competition. He is also on a Category 4 SLC contract, ostensibly until the end of February next year.

Sri Lanka Cricket have a mechanism in place for redressing faulty actions, and a release on Friday evening said Senanayake's case would be referred to the board's cricket committee.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ravishankar on July 14, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Well, it is rather an injustice to debar any one of bowling calling it a suspect action. Individuals may have certain deformities which help them in bowling well and putting a batsman in trouble. Except "throw" none of the bowlers are to be suspended on suspect action. How do you call a bowler bowling Bouncers concistantly?.Why not ban him?

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    SLC should try to develop Sachitra as a batsmen. Occasionally he has shown qualities of a good batsman at times hitting the winning runs under difficult circumstances

  • Anver on July 14, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    SS is SL's one of the main bowling weapon in the coming WC 2015.... hope he will do the needful changes & come back strongly !!!!

  • sasidhar on July 14, 2014, 2:39 GMT

    Hope he will come back with good bowling action.

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    Unfortunate for Senanayake.... I hope he works on his action and return to int'l cricket soon.

  • adeel on July 14, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    @ burner1985 - well said. though it probably wont' be found out if he would still be cleared in the Perth lab. but it definitely will create issues now with players/boards seeking 2nd opinions notably from perth which has been the main lab thus far.

  • Dummy4 on July 14, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    Now they will put at least 200 run partnership for 8th wicket against Mighty Indian bowling line up!!500 at least on Card for AUS A..Feeling for Indian entire bowling unit!!haha

  • Khondker S on July 13, 2014, 23:31 GMT

    I hope he can come back strong after corrections....Good Luck..

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    Decisions like this will send a message to one who contemplate of doing it. Good call.

  • Sisil on July 13, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    Sachi's a very intelligent cricketer. I suppose many other great off-spinners went through similar action related issues. When an off-spinner, in particular, tries to be more innovative with many variations, in the era of extensive video analysis that help batsmen figure him out, he's prone to arm extension issues. This's why the coaches need to be a bit proactive. Bounce back mate!!, you can do it.

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