• No more off-spin for Narine

    West Indies and Cape Cobras spinner Sunil Narine’s career has suffered a second setback after he was banned from bowling his off-spinner in the IPL.

    Narine, who plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, was reported by the Match Officials for a suspected illegal bowling action for certain deliveries bowled by him during the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Visakhapatnam on 22 April.

    Narine visited the Sri Ramachandra Arthroscopy and Sports Sciences Centre (SRASSC) in Chennai for a biomechanical analysis of his bowling action, after which the BCCI Suspect Bowling Action Committee‎ reviewed the evidence of the match footage and the analysis provided by SRASSC.

    Based on the evidence and following the provisions of the IPL Suspected Illegal Bowling Action Policy, the committee has concluded that Narine’s bowling action for his off-spinner contravenes law 24.2 (as read with law 24.3) of the Laws of Cricket and therefore the player is now banned from bowling the off-spinner in matches organised by the BCCI, including the IPL. He may however continue to bowl his other deliveries, which consists of the knuckle ball and the quicker straight ball.

    Should Narine bowl his off-spinner during the rest of the IPL, the umpires would apply law 24.2 and call a ‘no ball’, after which a report would be compiled at the end of the game.

    Narine would then automatically be suspended from bowling in BCCI-organised matches.

    The spinner may undergo a course of bowling rehabilitation and take corrective measures to ensure that his action does not contravene Law 24 and may then request a further official assessment by the committee.

    This is not the first time Narine has been cited for an illegal bowling action.

    Narine was reported twice during last year’s Champions League Twenty20 for a suspect action and was barred from bowling in the Champions League final. He was subsequently withdrawn from the India tour by the West Indies Cricket Board and also missed the World Cup.

    Narine is regarded as the one of the best spinners in the world. Richard Levi, Narine’s Cobras teammate, was recently asked which name would be first on the team sheet if he were to pick a World T20 XI. His answer was Sunil Narine.

    Cobras wicketkeeper Dane Vilas has also played with Narine and has the following to say about him:

    ‘He bowled with quite a lot of variations in the nets but when it came to the matches itself he mainly stuck to three different deliveries: the one that moved away from the right-hander, the stock off-spinner and his quicker ball – which just about every bowler uses as well. It just seems to be, and the players were talking about it quite a lot in the recent Champions League T20 in India, that there has been a big drive by the umpires to eradicate chucking from the game. There has been the emergence of a lot of spinners and they are now under close inspection,’ Vilas said.

    Read Gary Lemke’s column about the war on spinners here, and his column on why Imran Tahir should make a comeback to South Africa’s Test team here.