It happened again. Kolkata Knight Rider’s celebrated bowler Sunil Narine is once again on the radar of ethics and for his bowling action. His suspicious bowling action has been reported again and this time at the end of the KKR’s thrilling two-run win over the Kings XI Punjab in their IPL 2020 match in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Narine played a key role in the game, bowling the 18th and 20th overs in the Kings XI chase on his way to returns of 2 for 28.
An IPL statement said, “the report was made by the on-field umpires [Ulhas Gandhe and Chris Gaffaney] according to the IPL’s Suspected Illegal Bowling Action Policy,” adding that Narine would be placed “on the warning list” but would be permitted to bowl unless there was another report against him. If that were to happen, Narine would be “suspended from bowling” in the tournament until cleared by the BCCI’s committee that deals with suspect bowling actions further.
He has gone through a similar situation in the past too. Most notably in November 2015, when he was reported after West Indies’ third ODI against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. That was the first time Narine’s action had come under the scanner in an international game, though he had been reported twice during the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014, and as a result, he was forced to miss the Knight Riders’ final encounter against the Chennai Super Kings.
Narine then returned with a remodeled action not long after but chose to skip the 2015 50-over World Cup saying that the comeback would be “a little too much too soon”. Narine was subsequently reported during the 2015 IPL, when he was cleared to bowl, then reported and sent for a re-test, then banned from bowling his offspinners, and finally cleared again with a “final warning”. Following that, his action was reported again during the 2018 edition of the Pakistan Super League, but he has cleared sooner.
Sunil Narine has been a part of the KKR since joining the team in 2012 when his 24 wickets at an economy rate of 5.47 went a long way in helping the team win the IPL for the first time. He had a good year in 2013 too, picking up 22 wickets with an economy rate of 5.46, though the Knight Riders had a rough time of it.
In recent days, he has taken five wickets from six games so far, at a strike rate of 26.4 and an economy of 8.09.