Senanayake returns after remedial work on action
Sri Lanka Cricket hopes to have offspinner Sachithra Senanayake cleared by the ICC over the next few months, after biomechanics experts were confident his action had been sufficiently remedied.
Senanayake has returned to Sri Lanka after ten days of remedial work with human movement expert Darryl Foster at the University of Western Australia, after which he underwent an unofficial biomechanics test at the institute. The details of whether his remodeled action adheres to the ICC's playing conditions will not be known until a report from this test is generated by Foster's team over the next two weeks.
SLC had always planned to have Senanayake re-tested following the remedial work, and they will aim to set a fresh date for testing at Cardiff Metropolitan University, as long as the report supports that move. Foster is understood to have been satisfied with the changes in Senanayake's action but could not provide assurances on the exact degree of flex at each delivery until the test results were generated.
"SLC will be presenting Sachithra to the ICC accredited Cardiff University for clearance testing subject to the pending report from Perth," a board release said. "This report is expected to reach SLC within the next fortnight."
Foster's team had found that each of Senanayake's deliveries exceeded the permitted 15-degree limit before the remedial work, and suggested that routinely being asked to bowl in the Powerplay had played a role in the deterioration of his action since he was last tested, in 2011. A significant increase in flex was discovered when Senanayake had sought to change the length of his delivery in the middle of his bowling stride, particularly when batsmen were advancing down the pitch. Senanayake had not omitted any of his variations as part of the remedial process.
SLC hope to have Senanayake cleared by the ICC before England's limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka, which begins in November. The board is also hopeful the possible date of return will allow Senanayake to have his new action ingrained, before he plays international cricket again.
Senanayake was found to be flexing his elbow as much as 43 degrees in the Test he was found to be throwing, and he was consequently banned from international cricket last month. This is the second round of remedial work he has undertaken, after suspicions about the legality of his action had previously been raised on a 2011 A-team tour to England. On that occasion, Senanayake did remedial work with national spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge and was cleared to play after a test at the University of Western Australia.
Senanayake has been instrumental to Sri Lanka's limited-overs success in 2014, in the Asia Cup, World T20 and the bilateral series in England. The series against Pakistan, which begins on Saturday, will be the first international cricket he has missed as a result of the ban. Sri Lanka have no international cricket scheduled between the Pakistan tour and the England ODIs.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando