Friday, April 12, 2024

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DUBAI – West Indies coach Ottis Gibson was wrong. Dead wrong.
Gibson had said last week he expected Shane Shillingford, the team’s most successful bowler, to be cleared with a legal bowling action by the International Cricket Council (ICC) but cricket’s governing body yesterday banned Shillingford from bowling in international matches because of an illegal action.
The ICC said in its statement that an independent biomechanical analysis found the amount of elbow extension in Shillingford’s bowling arm exceeded the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under regulations.
Shillingford will be unable to bowl in international matches “until such time that he has submitted to a fresh analysis, which concludes that he has remedied his bowling action.”
Yesterday proved to be a double blow for the West Indies actually, as the ICC also banned Shillingford’s teammate and fellow-offspinner, Marlon Samuels, from bowling his quicker deliveries on similar grounds.
But the Jamaican all-rounder is allowed to bowl his normal off-break deliveries in international matches.
Both bowlers were reported during last month’s Test between India and the West Indies.
Associate professor Jacque Alderson and her team at the University of West Australia performed an independent analysis of both bowlers in Perth on November 29.
The players have 14 days to lodge written appeals to the ICC against the UWA’s findings.
The West Indies coach is still supporting his players in spite of their bowling careers being interrupted. In his first comments yesterday, Gibson said that Shillingford and Samuels would receive the full support of the team’s management unit.
“Though I felt confident about the way the two players performed at the testing, the report did not come back in our favour,” Gibson said in New Zealand where the West Indies are playing a Test series.
“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.”
Gibson added: “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.”
In Samuels case, if he is reported again for a suspected illegal bowling action within the next two years, he will undergo a similar independent biomechanical analysis.
According to the ICC, if Samuels’ bowling action is found illegal, “whether it is for his quicker deliveries or any other type of delivery, he will be automatically suspended from bowling in international cricket for a minimum period of 12 months.” (BA/PR)


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