By Mehluli Sibanda
Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak has expressed his sadness at the suspension handed out to left arm seamer Brian Vitori who has been prohibited from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect.
This follows the decision of the Event Panel of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 that the left-arm fast bowler uses an illegal bowling action.
The 28-year-old was reported by the match officials following Zimbabwe’s non-broadcast match against Nepal on Sunday, which the Chevrons won by 116 runs.
The ICC yesterday confirmed that Vitori is not allowed to bowl in international cricket after video footage of his action was recorded against Afghanistan when he took two for 31, including the match-winning last wicket of Shapoor Zadran at Queens Sports Club on Tuesday.
“As per Article 3.6.2 of the ICC Illegal Bowling Regulations, Vitori’s bowling action was filmed in the next match he played after being reported, which was against Afghanistan on Tuesday, and the video footage of his bowling spells were provided to the Event Panel of Helen Bayne and Mark King, who are both members of the ICC Panel of Human Movement Specialists, for analysis and assessment,” read the statement from ICC.
Furthermore, ICC said following its review, the Event Panel concluded that Vitori employs an unlawful bowling action, and, as such, in accordance with Article 6.5 of the regulations, he has been immediately suspended from bowling in international cricket.
The world cricket governing body stated that Vitori’s suspension shall remain in place until such time he submits an evaluation of his bowling action at an ICC approved Testing Center and the assessment concludes that his bowling action is legal.
Streak said what pains him is the fact that the bowler had worked tirelessly to alter his bowling action, which has come under scrutiny in the past.
A firm believer in Vitori’s ability, Streak is convinced the bowler will come back stronger.
“I feel for Brian, (he) has worked hard to remodel his action. We will miss him and I know he will be back stronger in near future,” said Streak.
Vitori was cleared to resume bowling in international cricket in January after undergoing remedial work on his bowling following a 12-month ban handed out by the ICC at the end of 2016.
The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 has, meanwhile, given the green light to the Zimbabwe cricket team to replace Vitori with Richard Ngarava.
The 20-year old Ngarava is a left-arm fast bowler and a lower-order batsman, who has played in six ODIs, taking eight wickets and scoring 12 runs.
His last One Day International for Zimbabwe was against Scotland in Edinburgh in June last year.