Sri Lankan mystery spinner, Akila Dananjaya has been cleared of suspect action by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is now allowed to bowl again in international matches after being away from the game for more than a year.
In September 2019 he was banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months owing to an illegal bowling action. Dananjaya twice failed an assessment within a two-year period, and hence the governing body suspended him from bowling in international cricket for a year.
However, the Panadura-born was allowed to bowl in domestic matches, with the consent of the Sri Lanka cricket board.
Akila Dananjaya was suspended in 2018 as well
The ‘off-spinner Akila Dananjaya’ – as his bowling type mentions – was initially suspended from bowling in November 2018. He then underwent remedial work that allowed him to resume bowling in early 2019. He missed out from Sri Lanka’s squad from the 2019 World Cup due to poor form, but moreover because of risking another suspension.
Upon return, he picked a five-for – overall he has 4 five-wicket hauls in 6 Tests – against New Zealand at home. However, didn’t play any Test after that hitherto.
Dananjaya was assessed again after he was reported for a suspect action for the second time in ten months post the Test against New Zealand. He underwent an independent assessment on August 29, 2019, in Chennai, which found his bowling action to be illegal – leading to his suspension.
Amongst all the variations Dananjaya bowls, it is believed that his stock ball, the off-spinner, is where he is mostly found guilty and has raised suspicions.
Once his one-year ban expired, the 27-year-old approached ICC for a re-assessment of his bowling action and was subsequently cleared. With Dananjaya available for international matches, Sri Lanka will be keen to have him back in the T20 side in view of the upcoming T20 World Cup in India. The mystery bowler has picked 87 wickets in 74 T20 matches at an impressive economy of 7.24.