Brian Vitori receives third suspension for illegal bowling action
What's the story?
Zimbabwe's left-arm pacer Brian Vitori has received a third suspension from bowling in international cricket in a period of only two years due to an illegal bowling action. Vitori's action will be scrutinised before he is allowed to bowl by the ICC again.
In case you didn't know..
The seamer, who made his debut for Zimbabwe in 2011, was first reported regarding his action in January 2016 and was suspended the following month for the same. However, after tests, it was declared to be legal just four months later, but in November the same year, he was called for breaching the prescribed limits with his action a second time. The very next month, he was again suspended from bowling in internationals, this time for a period of one year.
It was only this January that the 28-year-old was allowed to resume bowling by the governing body, but now, just two months later has been found on the wrong side, for the third occasion overall, with the ICC allowing only a limit of 15 degrees to flex one's arm.
The heart of the matter
It was during Zimbabwe's match against Nepal in the ongoing World Cup Qualifiers that the standing umpires had raised concerns on his action, and after keeping a keen eye on during their next game against Afghanistan, two members from the ICC's panel of human movement specialists, Helen Bayne and Mark King, imposed the sanction after close observation.
In the thrilling win over Afghanistan, who are one of the better sides in the Qualifiers, Zimbabwe prevailed by just 2 runs in a low-scoring encounter in which Zimbabwe defended 197 and Vitori's 2/31 in 9.3 overs was crucial to his team's win.
Vitori will now have to volunteer himself for the biomechanical testing by the ICC, until which time he will not be permitted to bowl, having been replaced by another left-armer in Richard Ngarava in the squad. Zimbabwe have three matches remaining in their Group B fixtures, having won both their matches thus far.
Not the first time has a bowler been reported for an illegal action: past instances, like that of Muttiah Muralitharan and Saeed Ajmal, have seen varying results; while Muralitharan continued gathering wickets at the highest stage with ease, Ajmal's effectiveness took a blow with a modification.
Zimbabwe will hope that in the case of Vitori, not only is he released to bowl soon, but also that he goes the Sri Lankan spin wizard's way, and comes back stronger.