Narine bowls illegally and should be banned

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By Gaurav Joshi

Sunil Narine bowls in an illegal manner. It is simple, it is the truth and if cricket is to eradicate throwing, bowlers such as Narine should be banned from the game.

It becomes clear as you watch him bowl from behind the wicket-keeper. As Narine displayed his artistry by completely bamboozling Rohit Sharma, it became frustrating to watch a bowler who blatantly uses his elbow forcefully to deliver the ball 22 yards away.

Narine has a unique action but what is even more unique is the way he grips the ball and the fingers he uses to impart spin on the ball. Traditional a finger spinner will grip the ball between the index and the middle finger. Narine, however, puts the ball in between his ring and middle finger.

While there is nothing illegal with gripping the ball in that manner, trying to generate enough power behind the ball with such a high arm action, it requires enormous strength in the fingers. It can be done but in the era, where still slow motion camera dictates the legitimate delivery, it must be practically impossible not to extend your elbow past 15 degree and bowl with that grip.

Credit must be due to the likes of Narine because they have thought outside the square and played within the limitations of the game. In fairness, given the constant manipulation of the rules learning towards the batsmen, at times it feels it is only fair to allow such actions.

But given the governance of the game and constant twitching of the rules means youngsters coming up the ranks are unsure of the regulations as they seem to be changing far too often.

Imagine a youngster who has idolised Narine’s action over the past few seasons suddenly hears that bowling in such manner is deemed illegal. The junior will then need to remodel his action.

To have such action bypass the ICC is incorrect and it is getting to a point that a verdict of an illegal action should be judged by an on-field umpire. There should be no scientific laboratories and 15 degree of flex testing. Simply, if the umpire has doubts the bowler should be called for throwing.

It is good to watch a spinner bamboozle batsmen but not by virtue of tweaking his elbow. Narine is the scapegoat and there are many others who will come and go. It is time to remove “chucking” spin bowlers from cricket.



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