Former West Indies pace great Andy Roberts feels BCCI's ruling has virtually finished Sunil Narine
West Indies spinner Sunil Narine was virtually made redundant after ruling by the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) in which the 26-year-old was banned from bowling his off-spin in any matches organised by the Indian cricket board, including the Indian Premier League (IPL).
If Narine bowls his off-breaks again for Kolkata Knight Riders, he would be no-balled and the spinner would automatically be banned from bowling in BCCI-organised matches.
Although Narine has been allowed to bowl his other deliveries (the knuckle ball and the quicker straight ball), former West Indian fast bowling great Andy Roberts feels the ruling has virtually finished him. "If Narine cannot bowl his off-spin, then he cannot bowl. He is an off-spinner," stressed Roberts.
"If he cannot bowl his off-spin, then which other delivery can he bowl? I haven't really followed it (IPL). I just saw a headline about Narine and it is just ridiculous," Roberts told mid-day from Antigua.
Narine, who was IPL's Player of the Tournament in 2012, has been an important part of Kolkata Knight Riders over the years. However, ever since the West Indian returned to action after correcting his action, his effectiveness isn't quite the same. In five IPL-8 matches, Narine has managed to claim only two wickets and conceded 147 runs at an economy rate of 7.35.
Roberts felt Narine is being singled out. "Narine is not the only one. There are plenty of off-spinners in India with the same problem. Why don't they look at them as well? They should look at all the bowlers, who have illegal actions, bowling off-spin, leg spin, doosra or whatever. Why single out only Narine?" he fumed.
Roberts, who undertook Test tours to India in 1974-75 and 1983-84, believed the International Cricket Council (ICC) should not have allowed any leeway for bowlers with suspect actions.
"It all started when the ICC allowed the 15 degree flex. It was done to accommodate certain individuals and now it is backfiring on them as these individuals have retired.
"Any bowler with a suspect action should be banned. Off-spin is the main weapon of an off-spinner and you want him to stop bowling that. Oh, c'mon! ICC needs to get real. They should have tackled this problem years ago," Roberts signed off.
Sunil Narine's average in IPL this season. The West Indian has claimed two wickets in five matches
Sunil Narine's economy rate in 32 Twenty20 internationals for West Indies. The off-spinner conceded 666 runs in 700 balls, claiming 38 wickets
Where Narine went wrong again
Sunil Narine was again reported for an illegal action during the Indian Premier League tie between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Visakhapatnam on April 22.
On reviewing footage, the BCCI decided to ban his off-spinners as per the provisions in IPL's Suspected Illegal Bowling Action Policy.
The BCCI press release states: "The Committee has concluded that Narine's bowling action for his off-spinner, contravenes Law 24.2 (as read with Law 24.3) of the Laws of Cricket and therefore the player is now banned from bowling the off-spinner in matches organised by the BCCI, including the IPL. He may however continue to bowl his other deliveries."
The BCCI had earlier banned Narine, whose 'doosra' was under the scanner, during the 2014 Champions League Twenty20 where he was not allowed to represent Knight Riders in the final after being reported twice in as many games for a suspect action.
How the story unfolded...
02 Oct 2014
Banned by the BCCI and not allowed to play for KKR in the Champions League T20 final. He was reported twice by the umpires for a suspect action in the tournament during which his 'doosra' was under scanner.
03 Oct 2014
The West Indies Cricket Board decide to withdraw Narine from India tour.
28 Jan 2015
Narine pulls out of World Cup due to a new bowling action. The West Indies Cricket Board said “he requires more time to be able to confidently bowl for a sustained period in international cricket with his new action”.
30 March 2015
KKR threaten to pull out of IPL-8 if Narine is not allowed to play in the current edition.
01 April 2015
BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya says Narine would have to appear for another test in Chennai.
05 April 2015
Narine cleared by BCCI after undergoing biomechanical tests in Chennai at the start of the IPL-8.
24 April 2015
Narine reported again for a suspect action following Kolkata Knight Riders' game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 22 in Visakhapatnam.
25 April 2015
The West Indian appears for a biomechanical analysis of his bowling action in Chennai.
29 April 2015
Banned from bowling off-spinners