Mystery spinner Sunil Narine will be twirling his magical deliveries for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) when the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets going on Saturday after he was cleared to bowl after being reported by the umpires during the recently concluded Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament which ended on September 10 with his team the Trinibago Knight Riders (TKR) defeating the St Lucia Zouks in the final by eight wickets at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, San Fernando.
Guardian Media Sports on Thursday understands that Narine, 32, a right-arm-off-break bowler and Zouks fast bowler Kesrick Williams, 30, were both reported at the end of the fourth round for a suspect bowling action. Both players were made aware during the tournament that reports had been made against them about their suspected bowling actions. After they were reported both players continued to play during the CPL and they were monitored by experts from Loughborough University in England. They were then required to send video footage of their bowling action to the University for further analysis.
A well-placed source close to the developments told Guardian Media Sports on Thursday that Narine, who played five of his team's 12 matches took six wickets, has already done his work and has been cleared. According to the source, “Sunil Narine sent in his video footage, it was analysed by the experts and he was cleared after that and will be taking part in the IPL with the ball as well. The experts also monitored him during the rest of the tournament and they said they found nothing wrong with his action.”
Narine, the ace bowler of Queen's Park Cricket Club player, was reported for a suspect bowling action on March 14, 2018 during the Pakistan Super League game between Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators.
The West Indies offspinner has had his action reported several times in the past. In 2014, he was reported twice in two matches and missed the Champions League final. He pulled out of West Indies' World Cup 2015 squad to give himself time to work on his bowling action following that, returned during the IPL, and was reported once again during that tournament. After testing, his offbreaks were banned, but later in the tournament he was given a "final warning" by the BCCI and struck off the watch list.
He returned to international duty in November 2015, only to be reported once again during his first series back - limited-overs games against Sri Lanka. He was suspended from bowling - even while being the No. 1 bowler in the ICC rankings for ODIs and T20Is - at the end of November, and missed the 2016 World T20 as well to work on his action. He was cleared to bowl again ahead of IPL 2016.
Meanwhile, Williams, who played all 12 matches for the Zouk, finished joint-third place on the standing with 13 wickets, the same as Fawad Ahmed of the TKR, has not been cleared as yet because he has to send footage of his action to the University. The source continued: “Kesrick made a slight change to his bowling action at the start of the CPL and the umpires were not happy with him and he was reported. After this, he went back to his original action and the experts saw no problems with his action for the rest of the tournament.
“He is yet to be cleared because he still has to officially follow the process to get cleared and one of the things is that he has to send in video footage of his bowling action. In order to do this, he has to travel to Grenada to have it done with his Windwards Volcanoes coach Andrew Richardson. Had he left Trinidad and Tobago to go directly into Grenada he would have had to face a quarantine situation because of the COVID-19 scenario in Trinidad at the moment. So he decided to go home to St. Vincent and after a few days he will fly into Grenada to have it done.”
Both Narine and Williams played in the finals of the HERO CPL with the TKR battling the Zouks and winning the match to claim their fourth CPL title.