Kane Williamson suspended from bowling

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New Zealand cricketer Kane Williamson
New Zealand cricketer Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson has scored an unwanted first, becoming the first New Zealander to be suspended from bowling because of an illegal action.

The former Tauranga Boys' College student's action was assessed at Cardiff Metropolitan University and his elbow extension was deemed to have exceeded the 15 degrees of tolerance permitted under ICC regulations.

The off-spinner will have to modify his action and prove to assessors its legality before he can bowl again.

Williamson's bowling is strictly the second string to his bow, but he has developed a reputation for chiming in with useful, partnership-breaking wickets. He was reported by umpires and the match referee during the second test between the West Indies and New Zealand at Port of Spain in June.

He was able to continue bowling during that tour.

Williamson, who is enjoying a stint of county cricket with Yorkshire, said he aimed to return to the bowling crease.


"I note the findings of Dr Craig Ranson and his team at Cardiff Met and will concentrate on changing whatever's necessary to return to the bowling crease," Williamson said in a release.

"Clearly, the onus is on me to satisfy assessors as to the legality of my action, and I'm aware I have some hard work in front of me to achieve that goal. It's never nice, going through this sort of process but it will be worth it if I can manage to bowl again at international level."

Williamson's case is a curious one in that he does not possess a "doosra" or mystery ball, which is the delivery that has caused lawmakers the most conniptions. The doosra is a leg break delivered with an off break action, best practised by Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal.

The are many opponents of the delivery, believing it cannot be bowled with a legal action.

Williamson's issue is bowling the conventional offspinner. There have long been mutterings about his action and references to the fact he always bowled with buttoned down sleeves - a common tactic to make it more difficult to tell with the naked eye whether the elbow was bending more than 15 degrees.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson was hopeful Williamson would play a further role at the bowling crease.

"Kane's disappointed, clearly - anyone in his situation would feel the same way," said Hesson. "He now has a challenge on his hands if he's to bowl again at the top level, but we're very hopeful he can manage it."

The West Indies Shane Shillingford and Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake are offspinner's who have been recently suspended by the ICC.

Williamson has taken 24 test wickets at an average of 40.66. In ODIS he has 23 at 30.91 with an economy rate of 5.49.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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