Kolkata Knight Riders have decided to send Sunil Narine for another test of his bowling action after match officials expressed “concerns” over “fair amount” of deliveries the offspinner bowled in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday in Visakhapatnam. If Narine is called a second time, he will be out of the IPL and hence the franchise wants to play it safe and not risk playing him in the upcoming matches without the test.
It is understood that the franchise is trying hard to get an appointment at the Sri Ramachandra Arthroscopy and Sports Science Centre in Chennai, an ICC accredited testing centre.
Narine will travel with former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram, who is Knight Riders’ bowling consultant, and team analyst AR Srikkanth.
This will be the second time Narine will be travelling to Chennai this month having already received a clearance from the BCCI’s sub-committee on suspect action days before the IPL started. The panel, comprising former India captain S Venkataraghavan, former India fast bowler Javagal Srinath and former international umpire AV Jayaprakash, had no issues with Narine’s remodelled action and gave him a clean chit.
That was a re-test for Narine considering he got the clearance in two months having obtained the earlier one from the testing centre at the University of Loughborough on March 10.
According to an official privy to the matter, the on-field umpires Richard Illingworth and Vineet Kulkarni reported to the match referee having doubts about a few deliveries Narine bowled against Sunrisers, who won the rain-affected match by 16 runs.
Incidentally, Narine had gone wicketless, giving away 38 runs in his four overs.
The official said “a fair number of deliveries, about four to five” were spotted by the umpires. He did not describe the type of deliveries but did confirm the faster one was one of them.
It is understood that the BCCI told the franchise that the match officials were “concerned” about some deliveries.
The news would have definitely come as a surprise for Narine and the franchise considering the BCCI panel had given him a positive report card earlier this month.
As intriguing as the matter could be, the official pointed out that sometimes a bowler, if he is pushed into a corner, can fall back on old habits.
Indirectly he said that Narine might have repeated some of the mistakes he made during the Champions League Twenty20 last year, when he was reported twice by the umpires and was consequently out of the tournament.
According to the official he did not want to cast aspersions on Narine’s future in the tournament and only said the decision was his and Knight Riders’ to make.
Although no Knight Riders official was available for comment, as a first step the defending champions have decided to not risk playing Narine without sending him for fresh testing. Knight Riders play Rajasthan Royals at home on Sunday and there is a strong possibility Narine will miss that match.