Shillingford's action under scrutiny
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, CMC:
West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) officials have pledged their full support for Shane Shillingford, after he was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday that the bowling action of the West Indies off-spinner is now under review, after concerns from the umpires, following the first Test against Sri Lanka, which ended in a draw on Friday.
"There is a well-established process in place for dealing with this, and we will allow that process to take its natural course," WICB spokesman Imran Khan told the CMC Sport Wire.
"The process under which Shane will be evaluated is widely known, and we will await the outcome of that process. Naturally, Shane will have the full support of the WICB going through this process."
Shillingford's delivery of the doosra, which, ironically, was conceptualised by champion Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, raised a few eyebrows during the television coverage of the Test at the Galle International Stadium - and it would appear, so too, among the match officials.
The 27-year-old Shillingford had match figures of five for 202 in the Test, and was a genuine threat to the Sri Lanka batting on a turning pitch.
"The umpires' report has cited concern over the straightening of Shillingford's arm, while bowling some deliveries to the degree that may constitute an illegal action," said an ICC media release.
Shillingford will now have to submit to an independent analysis of his bowling action, which will be conducted by a member of the ICC panel of human movement specialists, according to the ICC media release.
This analysis and report must take place within 21 days of the report being received by the WICB.
The ICC media release noted that Match Referee Alan Hurst handed over a copy of the umpires' report to West Indies manager Joel Garner on Friday evening.
"If the player is found to have bowled with an illegal action during the independent analysis then he will be suspended from bowling in international cricket until he undertakes remedial action and is reassessed," noted the ICC media release.
Shillingford will be permitted to continue bowling, so he is available for the second Test starting on Tuesday at Colombo's Premadasa Stadium.
But this leaves him open to being called for throwing under Law 24.2 of the game, and the consequences of the law must apply.
Shillingford becomes the second West Indies bowler to be reported for a suspected illegal bowling action.
Seven years ago, Jermaine Lawson suffered a similar situation during the home series against Australia.
As the matter has arisen on the tour of Sri Lanka, Shillingford can take comfort in the knowledge that Muralitharan similarly beat allegations of a suspected illegal bowling, which led to the relaxation of the law on throwing.
Muralitharan proceeded to end his Test career with a world record 800 wickets.