Sunil Narine's bowling action has been reported again, this time at the end of the Kolkata Knight Riders' thrilling two-run win over the Kings XI Punjab in their IPL 2020 match in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Narine played a key role in the game, bowling the 18th and 20th overs in the Kings XI chase on his way to returns of 2 for 28.
"The report was made by the on-field umpires [Ulhas Gandhe and Chris Gaffaney] according to the IPL's Suspected Illegal Bowling Action Policy," an IPL statement said, adding that Narine would be placed "on the warning list" but would be permitted to bowl unless there was another report against him. If that were to happen, Narine would be "suspended from bowling" in the tournament until cleared by the BCCI's committee that deals with suspect bowling actions.
Narine has been in trouble with the authorities for his bowling action in the past too, most notably in November 2015, when he was reported after West Indies' third ODI against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. That was the first time Narine's action had come under the scanner in an international game, though he had been reported twice during the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014, and as a result, he was forced to miss the Knight Riders' final encounter against the Chennai Super Kings.
He returned with a remodelled action not long after but chose to skip the 2015 50-over World Cup saying that the comeback would be "a little too much too soon". Narine was subsequently reported during the 2015 IPL, when he was cleared to bowl, then reported and sent for a re-test, then banned from bowling his offspinners, and finally cleared again with a "final warning".
Narine's action was reported again during the 2018 edition of the Pakistan Super League, but he was cleared soon after.
Narine has been a part of the Knight Riders set-up since joining the team in 2012, when his 24 wickets at an economy rate of 5.47 went a long way in helping the team win the IPL for the first time. He had a good year in 2013 too, picking up 22 wickets with an economy rate of 5.46, though the Knight Riders had a rough time of it. His 21 wickets (economy 6.35) were again crucial in 2014 when they won the title for the second and last time till date.
More recently, Narine has added top-order pinch-hitting to his repertoire and contributed significantly to the Knight Riders' campaigns in 2017 (224 runs, strike rate 172.3), 2018 (357 runs, strike rate 189.89) and 2019 (143 runs, strike rate 166.27) with the bat, but he had been off the boil this season and has been pushed down the order. With the ball, he has taken five wickets from six games so far, at a strike rate of 26.4 and an economy of 8.09.