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Black Caps' Williamson's action put to the test

Last updated 05:00 23/06/2014
Kane Williamson
Randy Brooks
CROOKED ARM: Kane Williamson is the first New Zealander to be officially reported for having a suspect bowling action.

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A ''miffed'' Kane Williamson believes he's not the only bowler in international cricket with a suspect action and hopes others are called as part of an International Cricket Council crackdown.

Williamson became the first New Zealander to be reported for alleged chucking when umpires Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth and Rod Tucker, and ICC match referee Chris Broad, made it official after West Indies completed a 10-wicket victory in the second test on Saturday.

An ICC statement said the umpires' report ''cited concerns over a number of deliveries that they considered to be suspect''.

The off-spinner is permitted to bowl in Friday's third and deciding test in Barbados, but has to undergo testing at Loughborough University in the UK within 21 days to determine whether his elbow flex is within the permitted 15 degrees.

Under the ICC process he will either be cleared, or banned from the bowling crease and required to undergo ''remedial work''.

There have long been suspicions over Williamson's jerky action and it's no coincidence he wears long sleeves when bowling, but not when batting.

It seemed he was in the clear, though, having bowled regularly with no discernible change since his test debut in 2010. 

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said the umpires' report ''wasn't completely unexpected'', but hoped others were placed under the microscope, too.

''He [Williamson] realises he's not the only player in the world who has a suspected illegal bowling action so he's a little bit miffed because he's been doing the same thing for a couple of years,'' Hesson said.

''If that's the case and they want to clamp down, then all players and coaches want is a level of consistency.''

Sri Lankan Sachithra Senanayake was the latest to be reported during the England one-day series this month.

West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford was banned for the Hamilton test in December after failing tests in Perth, but was readmitted to international cricket for the current series after remedial work.

He still isn't allowed to bowl his doosra, while another West Indies spinner, Marlon Samuels, is banned from bowling his quicker delivery.

Two England captains, Michael Vaughan and Stuart Broad, sparked recent controversy when commenting on social media on a photo which showed Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal bowling with a bent arm.

Pakistan's board demanded a public apology.

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Hesson said he supported the process, and the ICC clampdown on bowling actions, but wouldn't speculate on the ramifications for the Black Caps if 23-year-old Williamson was banned from bowling.

''We're not even going down that path. He hasn't even been found to have an illegal action yet. The process is just starting and we'll follow that process.''

New Zealand will need Williamson to contribute with the ball at Bridgetown, with Hesson saying they were likely to recall paceman Neil Wagner and drop a spinner if the pitch presented as they expected.

Wagner's return should be the only change to the side who suffered a major form reversal from their dominant win at Kingston.

Opener Hamish Rutherford, who was hit by a stomach bug and slipped down the order in the second innings, will get another chance.

''He only really had one innings so we won't be making any rash decisions''.

Hesson said the test was lost on day one when they suffered a collapse of 7-60 and didn't respond well to miserly bowling from an accurate West Indies pace attack.

''We're pretty clear how we want to play the game and we realise we missed a trick in the first innings of getting that big score that helps us dominate the game. We've identified that and we need to find a way to rectify it pretty quickly.''

- Stuff

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