West Indies news

ICC suspends Shillingford for illegal bowling action

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 16, 2013

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The ICC has suspended Shane Shillingford, the West Indies offspinner, from bowling in international cricket after his action was found illegal. His team-mate Marlon Samuels, who is a part-time offspinner, has been prohibited from bowling quicker deliveries in international cricket.

The pair were reported for suspect action on November 16, during the second Test against India in Mumbai. They underwent biomechanical analysis in Perth on November 29, before the start of the series against New Zealand.

Shillingford has taken six wickets at 42.66 in the first two Tests against New Zealand but will now not be available for the final match in Hamilton which starts on Thursday. Samuels has not bowled in the current series.

An ICC statement said that an independent biomechanical analysis had revealed that for both Shillingford's standard off-break delivery and his doosra, the amount of elbow extension in his bowling action exceeded the 15 degrees' level of tolerance permitted under the ICC regulations. Shillingford will remain suspended until he submits a fresh analysis that proves his action has been corrected.

Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, said: "Though I felt confident about the way the two players performed at the testing, the report did not come back in our favour. Shane is obviously gutted, but Marlon's role in the team, as I have said previously, is primarily as a batsman, so the impact on him is a little bit less."

"We will formulate a suitable plan of action and work to rehabilitate their bowling actions in the New Year, so Shane can continue his international career in the shortest possible time and Marlon can continue to contribute with the ball when he's required.

"They are both tough characters and have had their share of ups and downs in the game over the years. We have no doubt that they will emerge from this latest setback with the utmost confidence."

Shane Shillingford in his delivery stride, India v West Indies, 1st Test, Kolkata, 2nd day, November 7, 2013
Shane Shillingford had earlier been suspended in December 2010 © BCCI

Earlier this week, when asked about the pending report, Gibson hoped that Shillingford would not be singled out. "There are a few people around the world bowling with similar, if not worse actions, so I expect him to be cleared for sure."

Meanwhile, the analysis on Samuels' action revealed that the spinner's standard off-break delivery was legal but the quicker delivery exceeded the prescribed levels of tolerance.

If Samuels is reported for a suspect action in the next two years, the ICC will take note of it as a second report and the player will have to undergo a biomechanical analysis. If the analysis concludes that Samuels has an illegal action for any delivery, he will be banned from bowling in international cricket for a minimum period 12 months.

Shillingford had earlier been suspended from bowling in international cricket in December 2010, a month after being reported for a suspect bowling action on West Indies' tour of Sri Lanka. He underwent remedial action on his bowling and was cleared by the ICC in June 2011.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by BounceTrack_BULLY on (December 17, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Didn't notice anything suspicious during Test matches against India. But law will take its own course. Hope he will make a strong comeback!

Posted by   on (December 17, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

Hey please understand the rules,when a bowler delivers a ball at an angle greater than 15 degrees to the vertical it will certainly makes it difficult for the batsmen to pick up the line and in the case of slow blowers the turn as well.One must also remember at wider angle than the legal limits enables the bowler to generate more pace and bounce hence chucking is illegal and gives the bowler an unfair advantage.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

what a pity for West Indies. they found a good spind bowler after a long time.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

Why do we have to wait until someone else reports suspected bowling action by WI bowlers. Shouldn't the coach be capable of noticing that first. Or is he not fit for the job? I thought that a new WICB chairman would bring good changes to WI cricket but they persist with mediocrity like the coach and the captain. I see no silver lining for WI cricket for a long time to come. On recent performance in India Clive LLoyd described them as playing like drunks and Sunil Gavaskar described WI performing at less than club level. He added that "The West Indies bowling attack, however, must be the most pathetic in Test cricket at the moment with no new ball bowlers worth the name and neither a spinner who can trouble international batsmen." Yet Gibson and company persist with Sammy, Shillingford etc leaving Sunil Narine to bask in the sun. Isn't it time to bring back Sarwan? What else does the WI board need to wake them up? Insularity seems not to go away, not even with a new Chairman. Sad indeed

Posted by More.blocks.than.a.leggo.box on (December 17, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

Why are people bagging the ICC? They already had to make allowances of 15 degrees because more and more players started to push the old laws to the limit.

15 degrees is actually pretty large tolerance. It is meant to maintain the spirit and intent of the original law while taking into consideration the physical capabilities of the individual player.

The ICC are taking action against players who are not bowling in the spirit of the laws. We should be thanking them.

Posted by rayinto on (December 17, 2013, 4:08 GMT)

I looked at all 4 test so far and if Shillingford has a bowling fault, he has me fooled because he seemed normal to me.

Posted by one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on (December 17, 2013, 2:27 GMT)

Anyone who saw Shillingford's action during Australia's tour of WI a couple of years ago could only have described it as diabolical. Someone should have identified it well before he reached the international stage. I am also very surprised that he has been allowed to continue on sans real remediation (I know it has been reported in the past) for as long as it has. I have watched some of his recent international performances and the song remains the same.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2013, 1:09 GMT)

Doesnt the coaches in the West Indies know what is bowling and what is chucking? This not the first time that these players have been reported. It just goes to show how WI Cricket is bad shape. New coach, new captain, new selectors

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (December 17, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

instead of banning them, simple solution is for the biometric experts to develop a arm sling or something that will not allow the elbow/arm to go beyond the 15degrees tolerance. when bowler does go it will obviously hurt him so he will remain within the limit :D

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 23:37 GMT)

to be honest ive ppl with alot dicier actions and getting away with it...its a shame really :(

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (December 16, 2013, 23:32 GMT)

How many times must he be reported before they sort it out!?? I remember this guy being reported and he was cleared, now they do it again, ridiculous.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 16, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

Shillingford is marginally out of tolerance. It's a pity. West Indies have found a match-winning bowler and will not be allowed to use him. The rules are the rules, but sometimes one wishes that the ICC would be more flexible with players from countries without political muscle.

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (December 16, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

I do not understand why ICC has one set of rules for batsmen and another for bowlers. I do not see why chucking is considered "illegal", and switch hits legal. Chucking allows a lot more variations and deceptions in bowling that will only make the game richer. Chucking is NOT ball tampering. Chucking is merely a bowling delivery style. Like underarm bowling. I myself and a number of club cricketers I know, sometimes bowl underarm and chuck in friendly games. And some bowlers are actually better underarm bowlers than the regular overarm action!! I think it is time for ICC to reassess some of the age-old archaic bowling laws. Shillingford troubled Indian batsmen recently and was great to watch an upcoming quality spinner. Another career ruined, thanks ICC. ComeOn, cut some slack.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

Why do we have so many dubious cricketing laws? Man gets cleared by ICC then again reported. No wonder they are making cricket difficult for new generation to understand it and it will be difficult for them to embrace it for the same reason. Please ICC stop ruing the beautiful game.

Posted by TRAM on (December 16, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

How does the bowling action matter when the bowler bowls slow? IMO, there should be absolutely no restriction as long as the ball comes below certain speed, say below 85 kmph. No batsman would complain of deliveries ~ 85 kmph. Dont the rules allow under arm bowling - which is so different from over-arm bowling? The problem arises only when sudden faster ones are delivered (when the batsmen are deceived). So we should address the bowling action only when the balls are delivered above the 'comfortable speed'. There should be absolutely no restriction on wrist positions below that speed.

Posted by nafzak on (December 16, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

De man pelting! We all know this in the West Indies. Same thing with Samuels. I place 100% blame the WICB. They know these 2 gentlemen had problems before and yet did not address these problems as they should. I do not care if other bowlers from other countries also have suspect actions. This is a problem that WICB should have addressed a long time ago. Narine and Bishoo should have been on tour instead of Shillingford.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

Whenever a West Indian bowler comes along that will give teams problems they are reported. The same thing happened with Jermaine Lawson when he wrecked Australia. Shillingford has ben our best bowler and this will weaken an already weakened side. I don't believe Narine is a Test bowler but he will have to bring the goods now. I don't know why Rampaul is not in the side, whether it;s injury or not, but not having him or Roach is a major blow.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (December 16, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

It's a real shame.Shane Shillingford has arguably been West Indies best player recently & an exciting spinner to watch.

Posted by Riddymon on (December 16, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

This is the second time this has happened and both when he was in a very good form. Tough break Shilli *no pun intended*.

Posted by TheDreadPirateRoberts on (December 16, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

How about awarding New Zealand 33 bonus runs in the Dunedin test as well?

Posted by warneneverchuck on (December 16, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

His action is cleaner than many other so called greats in the past. Thats y I say warne was best ever spinner

Posted by swarzi on (December 16, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

It's almost impossible for anyone to bowl the doorsa without infringing the so called 'straightening of the arm ' rule! So, if Shillingford is banned for it, so should be all doorsa bowlers! However, the delivery is here to stay. It brings class to the game. And it's a harmless delivery that causes no physical threat to the batsman, as do the 90+ mph BOUNCER! But, the bouncer is allowed, even if some bowlers deliver it 90+ mph by chucking often, and get away! The only problem with the doorsa is that, only batsmen of the highest quality in cricket can play it with any assurance. Hence, it gets all mediocre batsmen out cheaply, the reason for so much complaints about it! Why do you think that it was in Indian he was reported? Now, instead of unfairly banning bowlers for bowling harmless deliveries, ICC should hire the only man with the credentials, the Gt Brian Lara, next after Bradman, to teach batsmen how to play that type of bowling! We may luckily get another Lara one day! He's alive

Posted by pvr726 on (December 16, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

The one bright spot in WI team is now out. The prospects look quite bleak, no cylinders are firing regularly in the WI engine of late, except for an occassional spark here and there. We need Gayle to ocme back as soon as possible and Chanderpaul the old work horse to get his winning ways back.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

Atlast, justice is done - long overdue that they should have been suspended.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

Without getting into the details of technicalities of bowling action, this is a big blow to the already struggling WI bowling attack, with probably their only near to world class bowler out of action!! Not denying the fact that Roach, Rampaul are also good..

Posted by rajithwijepura on (December 16, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

I think ICC should suspend the bowling action of Ashwin's stop delivery too.

Posted by DilushaofMC on (December 16, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

That is legal IMO. Anyway it'll be reviewed further.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 14:05 GMT)


so now we need to root out teesras, topspinners! Time to revisit the whole 'doorsa' thing ( can't be bowled without chuckin it!). I have also seen some fast bowlers 'chuck' their bouncers too (send them down under too!) ICC may have opened the flood gates upon new zealand to receive a narine torment! But this is the real world...we'll have to see what happens

Posted by SNIFFLEATHER on (December 16, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

Gibson is right. There are others with worse actions still bowling. But this has happened before. Remember Jermaine Lawson...? The wonderful fast bowler from Jamaica, who bowled around 95mph and played international cricket for about a year before they decided his action wasn't "proper". He took 59 wkts (avg 29) in just 13 tests. His action was rangy but many considered it far from illegal. Yet remedial work was ordered before he could return to the field. That ruined the career of a fantastic young speedster - the best West Indies has had for years. I remember him terrorizing Bangladesh in Dhaka, taking 6 for 3 - he was bowling accurately at 97mph. Funny how nobody complained until he skittled the Aussies with a seven-for including a hat-trick as the Windies went on to record a fine victory. I am not crying conspiracy...but it does make you wonder sometimes...

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

Tough one for the West Indies. I wonder though if this will be a blessing in disguise seeing that WI has one of the world's best spinners on the bench for the last two matches. Despite doubts about his length in test cricket, I think like most great spinners, he can learn to adjust. After all, being a spinner is all about being a tactician with the ball. Additionally, West Indies have not been doing well in test series for quite a while and yet they stick with the same players. I think it is time to give some of those player who excelled in the recent regional series a chance. What do they have to lose, they have been losing their games within three days constantly. I doubt they can lose it in two.

Posted by CricketChat on (December 16, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

No one, except Shillingford himself, can be blamed for his troubles. How could he go back to wrong action after it has been corrected not long ago? With so many other younger spinners in WI waiting in the wings, I am afraid this is it for him as far as international cricket is concerned. He cal always say he got Sachin's wkt in his farewell series for the rest of his life.

Posted by ricky8741 on (December 16, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

that's more like it. stronger better faster.yeah

Posted by delboy on (December 16, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Are the real reasons why WI cricket is in its present state now glaringly obvious? How come simple things like improper bowling actions not being monitored at regional level? How can the team be managed by someone whose strengths are in the bowling department and Gabriel does not know how to hold a cricket ball at this level? Why is it that all players in the team taking regressive steps in their personal performances; Sarwan for example was once ranked in the top three INTERNATIONAL batsmen. An international team needs more than 'high school teacher style management'. The support team must provide valuable analytics of both the squad members and their opposition, data collected should show areas which need to be addressed and action plans put in place ahead of scheduled series. Shillingford and Samuels have a history with their action is it that this is acceptable by management why it has to get to the attention of the ICC before the regional board does/says something?

Posted by A-Gunnie on (December 16, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Very bad news for W.I but now is the time for Narine and Permaul to show if they belongs in this format.....Miller is also an option for call-up.

Posted by Bubba2008 on (December 16, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

Funny how most people who are "cleared" of illegal bowling actions usually return with the same degree of flexion as before. It's really rather simple: you cannot bowl a doosra without chucking. Every bowler who claims to have a doosra should be tested automatically, with the exception of a carrom ball, to prevent a higher percentage of checkers from seeping into international cricket.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

What happened to Narine, the best of the West Indian spinners.?

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

stay strong shillie you will bounce back yet again.The cricketing world surely has something against west Indians now

Posted by PeteEdinburgh on (December 16, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Eek. Illegal bowling actions are a complicated topic that cause understandable confusion. However, it's not great when international coaches are expecting their players 'to be cleared for sure', only for the ICC to ban them. They can't both be right, and something is clearly going wrong somewhere.

This sort of thing could surely be sorted out before players play international cricket.

Posted by Narkovian on (December 16, 2013, 11:12 GMT)

I agree totally with Otis Gibson's quote : Shillingford is one of many.. But at least someone has had the guts to do something.

Posted by Stark62 on (December 16, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

In honest opinion, I don't think his action is "illegal" enough to ban or suspend him.

It's an okay action and a spinner isn't going to bowl a 90mph bouncer, which could threaten the life of a batsman.

Posted by mancricbd on (December 16, 2013, 10:56 GMT)

west indies should take this as positive. seems WICB is confused whether they should play Narine or not. they are wasting the talent. Gabriel should be left out for cotterel and narine is replacing shilly. my honest question to WICB is if narine can bring success in flat wicket of india why cant he do the same. you have to give some space to the guy. he needs to get used to with the red ball. WI batsman needs work on their basics. specially footwork. it seems like school boys driving the ball without footwork. they need sarwan immediately. ramdin need to go out for walton. no wicket keeper currently has this average at the moment. i really dnt know where are heading towards. I am BANGLADESHI and love WI cricket since I get to know cricket. the amount of times these guyz broke my heart are countless.

Posted by kurupgi on (December 16, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

Not surprised with 6 wkts haul in Mumbai test action can be seen with naked eyes

not legal action.............................

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Thats a pity. West Indies found a good spen bowler after a long time, yet he can play again but he will have to change a bit his natural action. That can affect his bowling quality.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

May be West Indies should play 5 specialist bowlers. Bring in Narine and Permaul as twin spinners, and bring in bowlers, Cummings and Cotterral to support Best. It means no room for Captain Sammy. We need six batsmen including a wicketkeeper batsman. West Indies should adapt a strict policy that drops a batsman if they couldn't get pass 30 in at least one inning in their last test. They should set goals for their top batsmen. Each batsman's goal should be set higher than their previous score. West Indies should plan totals and strategies to get to that total before the start of a test. The team lacks psychological make up and strengthening the bowling will improve that. Having a good wicketkeeper to support the bowlers is also important. Sammy is a good captain, but his batting is suitable for the shorter games. Set higher goals for senior players like Samuel, and Chanderpaul.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

man I wish this happened before 07th October 2012

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

Shillingford's bowling will come under more scrutiny so it is important that this matter is rectified. But why WI umpires and coaches not seeing what others are penalising our bowlers for? Another blow to Windies cricket.

Posted by InsideHedge on (December 16, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

Disappointing news for Shane but I felt his action was dodgy when watching him in action during the India tour. Samuels has been suspected for a long time, it's no surprise that Sammy didn't use him in India. Remember the complaints in the Big Bash? And I agree with Gibson, there are other bowlers with similar or worse actions, almost all of them are spinners. The quicker they are suspended the better.

I've seen plenty of amateurs bowling in the parks/playgrounds who don't just have a suspect action, they blatantly chuck. It all starts from there, the acceptance from everyone involved. It beggars belief how these players graduate to play first class cricket, never mind Tests.

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (December 16, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

spinners should be allowed to bend their arm more, it leads to innovation and more variety in spin bowling. throwing a ball, at under 100km will not hurt modern batsman.

Posted by mahjut on (December 16, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

I always thought it looked a bit suspect ... but I can think of 3 (maybe 4) others right off the bat with actions no better (all bowl the doosra btw) so it seems kind of odd to pick him out!?

Still, as a Zimbo I would love a WI rematch ;) ... Samuels and Shillingford took 29 wickets between them in the two test series!!

cheeky post :) but Zim were all at sea against that bowling and yet looked surprisingly "comfortable" against the quicks.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

When there are no rules in batting you can play lap shot shuffle across the stump you can do anything you want as a batsman then why have rules only for bowlers? let them bowl how they want with their bowling action you don't have to make any rules for bowling

Posted by wirus on (December 16, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

Wow! One wonders (1) why did the ICC wait until now to reveal their findings? (2) Who will replace Shillingford in the current team? (3) Is this the end of his career having been banned previously? Can he both correct his correct and also regain the confidence to be the sort of threat that he has been? He is the one bowler that WI could not afford to lose. Not that it will matter in the overall results of this series which was lost from the moment the same squad which was crushed by India were sent straight on to NZ to be similarly humiliated. The important thinking now has to be the future players, captaincy, coach and strategy for WI tests and ODIs.

Posted by Reagos on (December 16, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

Thanks ICC for suspending Shillingford. Hopefully Ottis Gibson will play Sunil Narine now.

Posted by kasifdotinfo on (December 16, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

What a farce these new rules regarding chucking have produced - here a man was found to have an illegal action, then was in all likelihood allowed a period of impunity after changing his action for re-examination, then was put under the scanner again once another umpire finally said enough is enough, then was, most recently, allowed another period of virtual impunity while being tested yet again, before finally having his action declared illegal a second time. The horror is that there doesn't seem to be anything to prevent the cycle from being repeated once more.

Posted by Chinku_Lala on (December 16, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

Very unfortunate for West Indies Cricket.He is a terrific spinner and did a great job for his team on Indian pitches and back homeHope he is back.

Posted by strongwine on (December 16, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

"There are a few people around the world bowling with similar, if not worse actions, so I expect him to be cleared for sure." Ottis Gibson.

I guess we are being punished for all those years of dominance. Consider all those rules that did not exist before that came about to restrict the effectiveness of west indian pace bowlers; even the film "Fire in Babylon" revealed that. Michael holding said as much about the 15 degree rule; that it is the main reason why there is such a decline in true out and out pace bowlers today.

I can't help but wonder was there some study done that revealed the average degree of elbow action for west indies bowlers? Is it a regional thing or is it a sacrifice made on the alter of "the suppression of windies bowlers?"

Will this comment be sensored?

Posted by   on (December 16, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

poor shillingford....Hope he gets back into action.

Posted by android_user on (December 16, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

shot I'll hopefully get to see narine play in Hamilton

Posted by RamhanceRampersaud on (December 16, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

What does it mean for the wickets he has taken with this illegal bowling actions? Should the stats be voided ?

Posted by android_user on (December 16, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

good oppurtunity for Sunil Narine to play the last test match.

Posted by android_user on (December 16, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

really its happening to often with our spinner here so what is next.

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