Kane Williamson banned over bowling action
Black Cap Kane Williamson has become the first New Zealand cricketer to be suspended from bowling in international cricket because of an illegal action.
It was announced today that Williamson, a part time off-spinner, would not be able to bowl in the international game until he had remedied his action, submitted it for reanalysis and satisfied assessors of its legality.
The suspension is a blow not only to Williamson but to the Black Caps team as a whole. While the 23-year-old is pre-eminently a batter, he is often used as a bowler.
Williamson has bowled in 34 tests and has 24 wickets at an average of 40.66 while in his 54 ODIs he has taken 23 wickets at 30.91. In T20 he has taken three wickets at 37.00.
He made his test debut and ODI debuts for the Black Caps in 2010 and his T20 debut in 2011.
A statement from New Zealand Cricket this afternoon said independent analysis of Williamson's action, conducted earlier this month at Cardiff Metropolitan University, had concluded his elbow extension exceeded the 15 degrees of tolerance permitted under International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations.
Williamson was reported by the umpires and the match referee during the second test between the West Indies and New Zealand at Port of Spain in June.
He last bowled for the Black Caps in the second T20 in Dominica on July 6.
Williamson said it was ''never nice'' going through such a process but he would now focus on fixing his action and apply to be re-tested by biomechanical specialists.
"I note the findings of Dr Craig Ranson and his team at Cardiff Met and will concentrate on changing whatever's necessary to return to the bowling crease," he said.
"Clearly, the onus is on me to satisfy assessors as to the legality of my action, and I'm aware I have some hard work in front of me to achieve that goal.
''It will be worth it if I can manage to bowl again at international level."
Black Caps coach Mike Hesson was hopeful Williamson would play a further role at the bowling crease.
"Kane's disappointed, clearly - anyone in his situation would feel the same way," he said.
"He now has a challenge on his hands if he's to bowl again at the top level, but we're very hopeful he can manage it."
Williamson joins a list of players suspended by the ICC for an illegal action including India's Harbhajan Singh, James Kirtley from England, Jermaine Lawson from the West Indies and Pakistan's Shoaib Malik and Shabbir Ahmed. Sri Lanka off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake was also recently suspended.
Last summer the ICC suspended West Indian offspinner Shane Shillingford while he was in New Zealand after finding his action was illegal.
Shillingford played the first two tests against the Black Caps before being ruled out of the third.
Williamson will have to be aware of his action. If a bowler is reported twice within a two-year period and found to have broken the 15 degree limit on both occasions they will be suspended from international cricket for a minimum one year period.