Akila Dananjaya risks suspension after being reported for suspect action again

Sri Lanka offspinner Akila Dananjaya has been reported for a suspect action for the second time in ten months, and will now have to undergo a biomechanics assessment in the next 12 days. If he fails this assessment, Dananjaya stands to be suspended for a year – the ICC’s automatic penalty for bowlers who have twice failed an assessment inside a two-year period.

Also reported for a suspect action following the Galle Test was Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain who delivered three overs of offspin on the final day of the match, which Sri Lanka won by six wickets. He had also previously failed a biomechanics assessment, but this was back in 2014. As such, a failed assessment for him will not result in a 12-month suspension from bowling and, in any case, he is little more than a part-time bowler.

Dananjaya had undergone remedial work since his initial suspension, announced in December 2018, and had had his action cleared early this year. He had been less effective in ODIs in the early months following his return, which led to him missing out on a place in Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad. The Galle Test was his first since the suspension, and he impressed in the first innings, taking 5 for 80. If a year-long suspension eventuates now, it would not only be a serious blow to Dananjaya’s career, it will also unsettle Sri Lanka’s spin attack. The next six Tests on Sri Lanka’s schedule are all due to be played in Asia.

Of the three variations Dananjaya bowls, it is believed to be his stock ball – the offbreak – that has most frequently raised the umpires’ suspicions.

Sri Lanka’s second Test against New Zealand begins on Thursday. Both Dananjaya and Williamson will be allowed to bowl in that game, as it falls within the 14-day window granted to bowlers who have had their actions reported.

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