SL to consult Foster to save Sachithra from ICC ban


Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) committee has decided to consult Australian Human movement specialist Daryl Foster, possibly the foremost authority in the world in analysing suspect bowling actions, to obtain his support in clearing beleaguered star spinner Sachithra Senanayake.

SLC had already contacted Foster during a special meeting that had been convened on July 14 when SLC’s Head of Cricket Operations Carlton Bernardus had forwarded Senanayake’s report to Foster for his views and recommendations on the way forward.

At the meeting itself, SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga had called Foster and had informed him of SLC’s requirement.

Foster is a human movement lecturer at the University of Western Australia and has been regularly involved in tests to check legality if bowling actions under ICC guidelines.

He was involved in testing Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling action in 1995, 1999 and 2004. He was also involved in analysing Pakistani bowler Shoaib Akhtar's action in 2001 and the laboratory at the University of Western Australia was the only place accepted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for testing of bowling actions till this year.

Foster is also a former first class cricketer and a champion coach who guided Western Australia to win nine Sheffield Shield titles during his stint between 1975 and 1995. He  also coached English county side Kent and played a major role in founding the famous MRF pace academy.

At the meeting, SLC’s Head of Coaching Jerome Jayaratne had advocated that SLC should get a Bio Mechanist, prefereably Foster to accompany Senanayake for his next test in Cardiff following the action re-modelling process as Sri Lankans are not very conversant with this technology.

He had said Darryl Foster would be the best person as he had conducted the previous test on Senanayake in 2011 after the spinner had been reported during a Sri Lanka “A” team tour of England. So, accordingly, SLC will get down Foster will come to Sri Lanka from Australia and then travel to Cardiff  with Senanayake after giving SLC a clearer picture of the process.

The ideal plan would be to have Senanayake cleared as quickly as possible to make him available for the Pakistan series to be played in August, Jayaratne had said.

Sri Lanka spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge who had accompanied Senanayake for the test in Cardiff had claimed at the meeting that the mechanist had informed them that Senanayake’s hand straightening appeared to be in the range of 8-10 degrees during delivery.  

Bernardus had informed the meeting that according to ICC indication, if Senanayake’s action was found to be still illegal at the time of the second test, then the spinner will be banned from bowling for one year in internationals.

Cricket Committee Chairman Ranjit Fernando had informed that according to ICC protocol a fast bowling consultant and a spin bowling consultant who have played for Sri Lanka should be in the panel to review actions. It had been decided at the meeting to have SLC’s fast bowling coach Anusha Samaranayake to be on stand by to be in the panel.