Williamson could face ban for suspect bowling action

Kane Williamson. Photo: Getty
Kane Williamson. Photo: Getty Images

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson is at risk of a ban from bowling after the International Cricket Council reported him with a suspect bowling action at the conclusion of the first test against Sri Lanka last week.

Williamson bowled just three overs in the second innings of the Black Caps' six-wicket loss to Sri Lanka, but it was enough to raise the eyebrows of the ICC, who announced that both Williamson and Sri Lankan star Akila Dananjaya had been reported for having a suspect bowling action.

The match officials' report from the first test, which was handed over to the management of both teams, cited "concerns about the legality of the bowling actions" of both Williamson and Dananjaya.

Williamson was banned from bowling in 2014 in international cricket after his action was found to be illegal, with testing finding that his elbow extension when bowling exceeded the 15 degrees allowable under the ICC rules.

The part-time off-spinner then remodelled his action to the approval of the ICC, but five years on, he has come under the spotlight again.

Williamson now has to undergo testing by the end of the month, but will be permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known.

However, he is unlikely to be required to bowl in that timeframe, with the Black Caps test squad having four spin options for the second test in Colombo, and Williamson rested from the Twenty20 squad next month. His next international outing is set to be the first Twenty20 against England on November 1.

The news will be of more concern to Dananjaya, who - having just returned from having his bowling action cleared by the ICC - shone in the first test to take six wickets.

Having already failed a biomechanic test once when his action was deemed to be illegal last December, Dananjaya will now have to go through the process once more, though could still be a thorn in New Zealand's side, since he will still be free to bowl in the second test.

Williamson, meanwhile, adds this unwanted news to a disappointing first test in which he made a third-ball duck and four in his two knocks with the bat, and will be hoping for a better outing in the second test, which New Zealand need to win in order to tie the two-test series.

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