Hours before their match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, Kolkata Knight Riders have been told by the IPL that Sunil Narine's action has been cleared and taken off the warning list.
In a media statement issued on Sunday, the IPL said Narine had been "cleared" by tournament's Suspect Bowling Action Committee. The committee comprises Rahul Dravid, ICC match referee Javagal Srinath, former ICC umpire K Hariharan and BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal.
"KKR requested for an official assessment of Mr Narine's action from the IPL Suspect Bowling Action Committee, submitting action footage in slow motion with back and side angles," the IPL statement said. "The Committee carefully reviewed all the deliveries of action footage sent of Mr Narine with the naked eye and has come to the conclusion that the elbow-bend appears to be within the range of permissible limits."
Both Narine and Knight Riders had expressed surprise after the bowler was put on the warning list by the IPL immediately after he played a match-winning role in thrilling two-run victory against Kings XI Punjab on October 10.
Narine was reported by the on-field umpires Ulhas Gandhe and Chris Gaffaney, with the suspect action occurring during the last over of the match, bowled by Narine, when Kings XI needed 14 runs for victory. The IPL did not specify which type of delivery Narine was reported for. However ESPNcricinfo understands that the IPL referenced all of the four overs Narine bowled against Kings XI in its official report.
On October 10 the IPL had said the Narine was permitted to continue playing, but if he were to be reported again, he would be suspended from bowling for the rest of the IPL. In what seemed like a precautionary move, the franchise rested Narine, who is understood to have worked with his personal spin coach Carl Crowe in rectifying his action for the type of delivery that was reported.
Crowe and Narine have worked together ever since the offspinner was reported for the first time in IPL in 2015. Incidentally that was the second time Narine's action had come under the scanner after he was reported for suspect bowling action during the Champions League T20 in 2014. In 2015 Narine was temporarily banned from delivering offbreaks, but was cleared subsequently by one of the ICC's accredited testing centres.
Busy remodelling his bowling action, Narine missed out on selection for West Indies for the 2015 Wold Cup and the 2016 World T20. Narine then missed out on featuring in the 2019 World Cup after he said a finger injury in his bowling hand did not allow him to bowl in ODIs. Narine last played for West Indies during the home T20 series against India in Guyana, last August.
It is understood one big reason the Knight Riders were surprised after Narine was pulled up this time was because Crowe has been included in the franchise support staff specifically to work with Narine this season in the UAE.
Although Narine is free to bowl, the IPL has noted his action would be under the scanner. "The Committee also noted that Mr. Narine should reproduce the same action going forward in the IPL 2020 matches as presented to the Committee in the video footage. Mr Narine has now been removed from the IPL Suspect Action Warning List," the statement said.