South African Botha's 'Doosra' Illegal: ICC

London, May 13:
South Africa's Johan Botha has had his 'doosra' delivery ruled illegal by the International Cricket Council although his standard off-break and arm-ball were found to be legitimate.

The ICC said in a statement issued Tuesday that an independent test had found Botha's 'doosra' (a ball that turns away from a right-hander, as opposed to a conventional off-spinner which turns towards him) to be illegal and the player had been warned against bowling that particular delivery in international cricket.

A comprehensive analysis revealed that his action for the 'doosra' exceeded the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under regulations.

However, the ICC said the same assessment found that Botha's off-break and arm-ball deliveries were bowled within the tolerance level and so the 27-year-old can continue to bowl those deliveries at international level.

Botha expressed relief that the 'doosra' aside, his deliveries had been cleared.

"I am looking forward to playing my next match for the Proteas and linking up with my team-mates for the forthcoming ICC World T20 in England," he said. "I have been bowling regularly in the nets and am happy with the way everything has been going."

Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola said Botha would abide by the ICC ruling. "We welcome the positive outcome of the tests," he said.

The independent analysis was performed by Professor Bruce Elliott, member of the ICC panel of human movement specialists, at the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Perth on April 30

The analysis showed that the amount of elbow extension in Botha's bowling action for both his off-break delivery and arm-ball was within the 15-degree level of tolerance.

The mean elbow extension was 12.2 degrees for the off-break and 11.1 degrees for the arm-ball with no single delivery of those types proving to be illegal.

By contrast, the analysis showed that the amount of elbow extension in Botha's 'doosra' delivery was 26.7 degrees with no single delivery proving to be legal.

Botha was reported following the completion of the fourth ODI between Australia and South Africa in Port Elizabeth on April 13. The report was made by the two on-field umpires, Brian Jerling of South Africa and Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka, along with experienced South African third umpire Rudi Koertzen.

Botha can have his 'doosra' looked at again after undergoing remedial work.

He also has the right of appeal against Prof Elliott's decision but if he wishes to challenge the 'doosra' verdict he must do so within 14 days of receiving the ICC's report.

Doosra means "second" or "other one" in Urdu.

Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq, who starred for English county Surrey, was credited with developing the delivery in the late 1990s.

It has proved controversial although Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, India's Harbhajan Singh and Pakistan's Shoaib Malik have all had their actions cleared by the ICC human movement specialist panel after the legitimacy of their 'doosras' was called into question.

But last month umpires reported Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal for a suspect action, with his 'doosra' said to be a cause of concern.

Bowlers, unlike baseball pitchers, are not permitted to throw the ball at batters. But the question of what does or not does not constitute a 'throw' has been a recurring problem throughout cricket history. 


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