Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka May 10, 2004

Mahwire reported for suspect action

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Blessing Mahwire's action is under scrutiny © Getty Images

There was more bad news for Zimbabwe cricket today, with the announcement that Blessing Mahwire, their 22-year-old medium-fast bowler, has been reported to the ICC for having a suspect bowling action. The report was made by the match officials at the recent first Test between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka at Harare, after looking at videos of the action of Mahwire, 22, who has played six Tests and three one-dayers.

"The umpires asked to review footage of Mahwire's action from the match," explained Dave Richardson, the former South African wicketkeeper who is now the ICC's general manager. "After seeing this footage [they] decided to report the bowler to the ICC. This issue now comes under the ICC's regulations dealing with this matter and over the next six weeks Mahwire and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union [ZCU] will have the opportunity to work on any areas of concern. Mahwire will be able to continue to play during this time."

Mahwire is now in Stage One of the ICC's process for dealing with bowlers with suspect actions. This allows him to continue playing international cricket while working with specialist advisors (who will be appointed by his home board), and a human-movement specialist who will review his bowling action. This stage can last up to six weeks.

At the end of this time, the ZCU will compile a detailed report which will be submitted to the ICC. Stage Two of the process applies if, after that six-week period, a second report is lodged. A formal hearing will then be held by the ICC's Bowling Review Group, and the player may be banned from the game for 12 months or until the Group is satisfied that the concerns with his action are rectified.