Sri Lanka spinner reported for suspect action

Sachithra Senanayake of Sri Lanka warms up at Lord's Cricket Ground. Picture: Getty
Sachithra Senanayake of Sri Lanka warms up at Lord's Cricket Ground. Picture: Getty
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SRI Lanka off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake has been reported for a suspect bowling action following his side’s win over England in the fourth one-day international at Lord’s on Saturday, the International Cricket Council announced yesterday.

Senanayake, 29, was reported by the match officials after concerns were raised about a number of his deliveries. “Senanayake’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC process relating to bowlers reported in Tests, ODIs and T20Is,” the ICC said in a statement on its website. “The off-spinner is required to undergo testing within 21 days and, during this period, he is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known.”

Senanayake has played one Test, 33 ODIs and 17 Twenty20 matches for Sri Lanka.

The five-match series is tied 2-2 ahead of the fifth and final game at Edgbaston today.

Rising stars Jos Buttler and Chris Jordan have a twin mission in the Royal London Series decider at Edgbaston, where both can press their Test claims by helping to inspire an England victory.

Buttler and captain Alastair Cook each gave little credence to the concept of a Test debut next week for the wicketkeeper-batsman, in back-to-back interviews after his brilliant maiden international hundred at Lord’s.

Yet, two days on, there was significantly more equivocation from coach Peter Moores on the subject of an imminent Lord’s return for Buttler – while the likelihood of Jordan’s name being in the squad announced on Thursday continues to increase. Before then, of course, both players have very important business to attend to as England seek to make it a 3-2 home win over Sri Lanka to kick-start the Moores-Cook era.

The England coach could hardly help but be impressed by Buttler’s 61-ball century as the hosts nonetheless failed to chase 300 for nine on Saturday. It was perhaps more telling, however, that he was not nearly so dismissive as Buttler himself and Cook on the former’s short-term Test prospects.

“It was brilliant. To watch it and be there was great,” said Moores. “He’s improving, and it was great to see him play like that. Certainly, how he played the other day hasn’t done him a lot of harm – it was a fantastic innings.”

The fitness of Matt Prior, which he is attempting to demonstrate for Sussex against Nottinghamshire this week, may be the first factor to determine Buttler’s immediate future.

Moores added: “Jos is a rapidly emerging player. Matt’s fitness is something we are trying to decide. We are knowing more on a daily basis.

“If Matt’s fit he’s a very strong contender. He’s playing his first game, but was rained out the game before and has done a lot of work building up.

“The medics will have a say on where that Achilles injury is. You certainly wouldn’t want to go into a game where you felt that, if you were taking your wicketkeeper in, there was a chance he might not get through it. That would be a mistake.”

Cook and Buttler have both insisted he is not ready for Test cricket. But Moores said: “He is improving quickly and I thought he kept well [on Saturday] so he has certainly pushed his name forward.

Jordan has won two man-of-the-match awards, to Buttler’s one, in the one-day international series and is already top of many lists to join a Test attack led by James Anderson and a fit-again Stuart Broad.

“We’ve got a debate to have with the selectors,” said Moores. “He is another guy who has had a good series. He’s bowled well and looks like he really revels in the environment of international cricket. That’s great and it puts him in the frame.”

Another stellar performance by either Jordan or Buttler would not go amiss for England in Birmingham.