Sri Lanka’s potential off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal gets a few words of advice and encouragement from former Sri Lanka cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara. (Pic by Nathan Delight)

Sri Lanka’s fast rising off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal has been cleared of bowling his off-breaks but not his doosra which the International Cricket Council (ICC) feels is not within the legal parameter of 15 degrees.

However Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is of the view that by working proactively with the ICC and other biomechanical experts Kaushal has a good chance of getting this particular delivery also cleared.

This new found confidence comes from the report which the ICC has released to SLC after Kaushal had been tested for his bowling action at one of its testing centres in Chennai after he was reported by ICC officials at the end of the third Test between Sri Lanka and India at the SSC last month.

The ICC media release on Kaushal’s tests said, “The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that Sri Lanka’s Tharindu Kaushal is permitted to continue to bowl his stock delivery (off-break) in international cricket following an independent assessment of his action, which took place at the Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai earlier this month.
“The results showed that the level of elbow extension measured for all deliveries bowled was well within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the ICC regulations.
“However, the assessment also revealed that Kaushal’s Doosra was found to exceed the 15-degree level of tolerance and it should no longer be bowled in international cricket.
“Under the ICC Regulations for the Review of Bowlers Reported with Suspected Illegal Bowling Actions, Kaushal will run the risk of being cited again if he bowls the Doosra in an international match.

“To assist the umpires, they have been provided with images and video footage of the 22-year-old’s bowling action.”

Interestingly Kaushal was randomly tested in Canberra by the ICC at the conclusion of the Under-19 World Cup in 2012 and there was no hint of anything unusual about his deliveries which also included the doosra.

Sri Lanka’s chairman of selectors Kapila Wijegunawardene said that it was “not all gloom and doom” for Kaushal because “interesting revelations have come through” from the report sent by the ICC.

“Where Kaushal is concerned we had a very close scrutiny of him and it was only after we were convinced that he was within the rules that we picked him to play in the side,” Wijegunawardene told The Nation.

“However this citation came and he was tested after which we were notified that his doosra was exceeding the stipulated parameter of 15 degrees marginally, but his off spin was cleared with flying colours with his extension being only five degrees.

“On the doosra interestingly 50 percent of the deliveries in which he was tested were within the stipulated parameter and only the balance marginally exceeded the 15 degrees,” explained Wijegunawardene.

“At the outset we are supportive of the ICC’s endeavour to ensure that all the players play within the rules. However we need to determine whether the widely expressed ‘school of thought’ that no bowler can bowl this particular delivery without extending the arm is really valid because this boy has proven that he’s got a special talent.

“What we now need to understand is at which point he is able to bowl this particular delivery and support him towards staying within the rules. Not being able to bowl the doosra does have an impact in his armoury of deliveries. However if you closely analyse the wickets that he has taken during his short career he has no more than 3-4 wickets with the doosra with a large majority of the wickets being with the off spin.

“From the side of Sri Lanka Cricket everybody is very eager and committed to support him towards getting this delivery cleared. Going forward we hope to work proactively with the ICC and it is not the first time we are facing a situation like this. I am confident that he will overcome this slight impediment,” Wijegunawardene said.

“This boy’s got a special talent where he has ultra supple wrist similar to (Muthiah) Muralitharan. If he succeeds in bowling this delivery within the stipulated regulations it will be a huge plus factor and also good for the game.”