Former West Indies legendary fast bowler Curtly Ambrose says that T&T off-spinner Sunil Narine can rise above his struggles in light of being reported by Indian Premier League (IPL) umpires for a suspect bowling action.
It's the second time in a month that Narine has been reported by umpires for a suspect action as this was also done by regional umpires after four rounds of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament which ended on September 10 here in T&T.
“A suspected illegal bowling action report has been filed by the match officials on certain deliveries bowled by Sunil Narine of Kolkata Knight Riders during the Pepsi IPL 2015 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders played on the 22nd of April, 2015 in Visakhapatnam,” Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Anurag Thakur said in a press release.
“As per the provisions of the IPL Suspected Illegal Bowling Action Policy, Narine will still be eligible to bowl in forthcoming Pepsi IPL matches and may request a biomechanical analysis of the deliveries in question at the ICC and BCCI accredited testing facility, the Sri Ramachandra Arthroscopy and Sports Science Centre (SRASSC) in Chennai,” Thakur said.
While Narine, who got a go-ahead to play in the IPL after getting clearance for his suspect action from the Chennai Bio-Mechanical testing centre, he will again have to undergo tests even though he will be allowed to bowl in IPL.
However, as per ICC rules, another similar offence will invite a straight one-year ban for the West Indies spinner, whose “doosra” and “carrom ball” both have been under the scanner for the unusual action with which he delivers them.
Ambrose speaking to Guardian Media Sports on Sunday said he thinks that he will not be as effective for the remainder of his IPL. "It is not going to be easy for him, as he will be under tremendous pressure. Given the fact that he has gotten this call, he will not be as effective for the remainder of the games as this cloud hangs over him."
Ambrose who claimed 405 Test wickets for the West Indies at a miserly 20.99 added though that Narine can rise above all this. "Narine must remember that he is a quality bowler and can rise above this."
The 57-year-old Antiguan legend said that the management at KKR should consider giving him a rest for a game or two. "He will be under great pressure and scrutiny the next time he goes out there to bowl, so I think that the management should consider giving him a rest for a game or two. Let him just get a chance to take the pressure off, relax, calm his mind before he returns. If he gets in there right now it could make it worse."
Another former West Indies player Philo Wallace advised that Narine has to remain mentally strong at this point in time. "It is heartwrenching that Narine has been called again. At this point in time, he has to be mentally strong to get through this. He has to understand that he will get the full support from the KKR and also the West Indie Board."
Wallace, who made his Test debut in 1997, and recorded a career Test-best of 92 for the West Indies during his career added: "KKR needs to pull him from the attack and let him get his mind back into the task. They also need to have someone work with him on his action and then allow him to go back into the competition.
"I think this report from the umpires will set him back in terms of his re-entry into international cricket. He has shown a keen interest in representing the West Indies again and this must be a setback.
Narine, who plays for Queen's Park Cricket Club, started having challengers with his bowling back to 2014.
The 32-year-old, right-arm off-break bowler, was reported twice in the Champions League 2014 tournament and missed the 2015 World Cup to work on his action. He was reported during the 2015 IPL as well and was eventually suspended from bowling in November that year. The International Cricket Council cleared his action in April 2016 but he had to pull out of the T20 World Cup in India that year. In March 2018, he was reported again during the Pakistan Super League.