West Indies mystery spinner Sunil Narine is being targeted according to cricket officials. Narine was reported with a suspect bowling action during the third ODI against Sri Lanka, which the home side won by 19 runs in Pallekele on Saturday.
The match officials’ report, which was handed over to the West Indies team management after the contest, cited concerns about the legality of the 27-year-old’s deliveries.
Narine’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC process relating to suspected illegal bowling actions reported in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. He is required to undergo testing within 14 days, and, during this period, Narine is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known.
Former West Indies and T&T off-spinner Rangy Nanan said that he would like the umpires to go into detail to explain what they are seeing when Narine is bowling: “I looked at the bowling action of Narine during the matches and I am finding it difficult to understand why they are calling him. His action looked good and this is very surprising to me, so much so that I think he is being targeted.
“He is the only West Indian bowler that the opposition around the world is afraid of and I think this is the reason he is being targeted.”
Echoing similar sentiments was Philo Wallace the former West Indies opener and analyst on the Sportsdrive show. “I am probably blind because from what I have seen of this man, he is bowling well within the limits of what is allowed in terms of bending of the arm by the ICC. I have looked at him closely and I can tell you from my experience he is bowling legally.
“I saw a split screen on the last game of his bowling and he is nicely side-on and when you adopt this position, it is very difficult to bend the arm beyond 15 degrees. In my opinion Narine’s action is even better than the Sri Lankan player Sachithra Senanayake who took four wickets in the T20 match.”
Narine’s manager at Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC), Jeffrey Guillen said he has sent a message to the embattled off-spinner, giving his encouragement and the club’s commitment to continue supporting him throughout this difficult period. “I did send him a message telling him to keep the faith and of course letting him know that the club is fulling supporting him.
“Being called all the time is sure to play on Sunil’s mind, he has been bowling with a clean action in my opinion and it is clear that he is being targeted. He has passed all the tests that they have put him through and yet they are still finding ways to call him.
“I just cannot understand what is going on here but what I know is that this constant pressure on the player is going to do him no good. At this time all those around him needs to support him fully and hopefully he comes out still effective from this latest challenge.”