Rajesh Sharma's career in cricket has been put on hold, at least temporarily. Cricinfo had earlier reported that the Punjab offspinner's action had been reported to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on two separate occasions, something which the chairman of the Punjab selection committee then claimed to have no knowledge of. All that has changed.
"We have asked the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) not to select him for the final Ranji match of the season," Niranjan Shah, secretary of the BCCI, said. "He was reported two times and there is a danger of him being called in a match. It is better this way [than him being called in a match]."
There was some confusion over how the Sharma case would move forward after he was reported for a suspect action, first in the final of the Duleep Trophy , and then in Punjab's Ranji Trophy match against Maharashtra.
"We do not want any bowler with suspect action playing domestic cricket," said Shah. "Now we will send him to the NCA [National Cricket Academy] for him to reviewed by the bowling review committee, of which Shivlal Yadav is a part." Yadav will provide technical assistance to Sharma in an attempt to straighten out the kink in his action.
When asked if the board was being more pro-active with issues such as these, Shah said he did not see any harm in what the BCCI was doing. "The board has to take an active role," he said. "There has to be communication between the board and the players and others. We have to let them know what we are thinking. After all the board runs cricket, and the attention of people and media is so high."
At the same time Shah did not give much credence to suggestions that he was growing in stature as his term of office unfolded, and that he was being more assertive in his role as secretary as he gained experience. "I have to follow the policy of the board. I speak to all my colleagues and take their opinions on any issue," he said. "I think I now have enough experience [in administration] and that counts. I'm lucky to have a president like Sharad Pawar who gives me the freedom to do my work."
In the past there have been numerous cases of players being reported for suspect actions in domestic cricket, by umpires and match referees, but this is one of the few times any concrete steps have been taken to remedy the problem.