New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson has been handed an ICC bowling ban, after it was discovered that his action exceeded the 15 degree arm angle allowed by cricket’s governing bodies, according to Sky Sports.
An investigation into his action was launched when he was reported by umpires during the second Test against the West Indies at Port of Spain at the start of July.
The all-rounder often operates predominantly as a batsman, but is also quite handy as a part-time off spinner. For the time being – while he reworks his bowling action – he will be
unable to contribute in terms of wicket taking.
Despite the disappointment accompanying this setback, the 23-year-old is determined to
rectify his action, and return to bowling as soon as possible.
A statement released by the player explained: “I will concentrate on changing whatever’s necessary to return to the bowling crease.
“Clearly, the onus is on me to satisfy assessors as to the legality of my action and I’m aware I have some hard work in front of me to achieve that goal.
“It’s never nice, going through this sort of process but it will be worth it if I can manage to
bowl again at international level.”
Williamson – who has spent this summer with Yorkshire – has already played 34 Test matches for New Zealand, scoring seven centuries and averaging over 40 with the bat.
He hasn’t been as prolific with the ball however. His bowling average is also just over 40 for the 24 wickets he has taken – with best figures of 4/44 coming against England in Auckland last year.
After being reported by umpires in the second Test, Williamson was subjected to independent analysis of his action. This took place at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where it was concluded that he was infringing on the ICC’s regulations.
Another banned spinner
He isn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last bowler to receive a ban for an illegal bowling action. Like many before him, the former Gloucestershire all-rounder will need to devote time in the nets working on a new delivery.
Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake received an identical ban for the same excessive elbow extension. Umpires reported the spinner during a One Day International at Lord’s on the side’s recent tour of England.
While Williamson is only an occasional bowler, even the greatest spinners have faced controversy over their action. Muttiah Muralitharan – the all-time leading Test wicket
taker – was often urged not to bowl his doosra, such was the criticism of its delivery.
As with most ICC sanctions, this bowling ban has been implemented with immediate effect. However, Williamson can still operate as a specialist batsman for the Kiwis, although he
has plenty of time to work on his action.
Luckily for New Zealand, their next international fixture is in October, when they will face
South Africa in a ODI series, and they don’t have another Test match until November – when they will play Pakistan in Dubai.