Big relief for KKR as Narine cleared to bowl

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Sunil Narine has been KKR's go-to bowler. File photo: BCC/IPL
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The Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday said West Indies spinner Sunil Narine can continue to bowl after it found nothing illegal in his deliveries during an assessment that was prompted by an on-field caution earlier this month.

Narine's team, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), asked for the assessment after umpires suspected an illegal elbow bend in an October 10 tie against Kings XI Punjab and issued a warning. The clearance means the 32-year-old can continue bowling in this year's tournament, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

"KKR requested for an official assessment of Narine's action from the IPL suspect bowling action committee, submitting action footage in slow motion with back and side angles," the league said in a statement."

“The committee carefully reviewed all the deliveries of action footage sent of Narine with the naked eye and has come to the conclusion that the elbow-bend appears to be within the range of permissible limits.

"The committee also noted that Narine should reproduce the same action going forward in the IPL 2020 matches as presented to the committee in the video footage."

The bowling all-rounder remodelled his action after he was reported twice during the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014. He was reported in the 2015 IPL and also after a one-day match against Sri Lanka the same year. He was reported again during the 2018 Pakistan Super League. Each time, Narine was subsequently cleared to bowl.

KKR said they were "surprised" by the latest warning and would work with the IPL to get Narine cleared. They dropped the Caribbean off-spinner for the next two matches.

KKR, led by England's limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, are twice IPL champions and currently sit fourth in the eight-team IPL.

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