Proteas say Botha is a key player for 20-20 World Cup

April 15th, 2009 - 7:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Johannesburg, Apr.15 (ANI): South Africa have backed off-spinner Johan Botha as a key player in their Twenty20 World Cup plans despite him being placed under the scanner for suspect action.

The International Cricket Council says Botha, who was also reported following the Sydney Test of January 2006, has been cited following Monday’s fourth one-day international against Australia in Port Elizabeth.

On-field umpires Brian Jerling of South Africa and Sri Lanka’s Asoka de Silva and third umpire Rudi Koertzen, also of South Africa, laid the latest report.

“Match referee Ranjan Madugalle has informed both the ICC and the South Africa team management of the report, as per the ICC regulations governing the reporting process,” the ICC said on Tuesday.

“The umpires’ report cited concern over two types of delivery employed by Botha, his quicker ball and his doosra.”

Botha will now undergo independent analysis by a member of the ICC’s panel of human movement specialists within three weeks. The ICC are due to receive a written report within a further two weeks.

“If the player is found to have been bowling with an illegal action he will be suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect,” the ICC says.

“He would have the option of applying to the ICC for a re-assessment of his bowling action at any time in order to return to bowling in international cricket.”

The 26-year-old has taken 41 wickets in 45 ODI matches and captained South Africa to a 4-1 series victory in Australia in January.

In the current series, Botha has taken three wickets at an average of 58.00. South Africa leads the series by three games to one.

Botha is free to play in Friday’s game five against Australia at the discretion of Cricket South Africa, the ICC says.

Cricket South Africa chief Gerald Majola wants the issue to be quickly resolved ahead of the T20 World Cup in England in June.

“This is disappointing as Johan was cleared after working very hard on his action following the ICC finding fault before,” Majola said.

It’s believed that Botha’s “questionable” bowling action has been a major talking point in the Australian dressing room throughout the current ODI series. (ANI)

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