By now, pretty much everyone who isn’t living under a rock is aware that the ICC (International Cricket Council) has suspended West Indian off-spinner Shane “Don’t Call Me Sean” Shillingford. But do you know why? Brace yourself: cricket umpires say he’s bending his arm a full two degrees (TWO FREAKING DEGREES!) past the allowably 15 degrees when he bowls . . . or throws that little ball thingy at the batsman.
I know, it just knocks the wind out of you when you read that, doesn’t it? You just drop to your knees, wonder what the world is coming to, and want to just give up on life.
On the plus side, although Shillingford is currently only banned from the sport, ICC officials do have the power under United Nations charter to have him put in jail should the allegations of the additional 2 degrees of elbow bending are proven to be true. Maybe then you can let your children sleep more soundly.
His (Shillingford) action was found to be illegal following an independent analysis performed by Bruce Elliott, a member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) panel of Human Movement Specialists. “A comprehensive analysis revealed that his elbow extension was 17 degrees, which is above the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the relevant regulations,” the ICC said in a statement.
“Should he choose to appeal, he must lodge a written notification with the ICC within 14 days of receiving the report.”
Shillingford, reported for a suspected action by match officials after the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last month, can now apply for reassessment of his action after he has modified it. The umpires’ report had then cited concern over the straightening of the spinner’s arm while bowling some deliveries to the degree that may constitute an illegal action.
West Indian Shillingford banned for illegal action (AFP)