Zimbabwe have suffered a setback in their World Cup Qualifiers campaign with key bowler Brian Vitori suspended indefinitely, SportBrief has learned.
By Carlo Chikomba
Brian Vitori, the Zimbabwe pacer, has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect after his action was found to be illegal, the ICC announced on Thursday (March 8).
The Chevrons fast bowler is no stranger to suspension with this having been the third time he has been reprimanded for illegal bowling action in international cricket
The 28-year-old, who was reported by the match officials during the World Cup Qualifiers, will remain suspended until he undergoes an assessment of his bowling action at an ICC approved testing centre – only a positive outcome from the testing would facilitate his return to international cricket.
The Chevrons will no doubt miss the services of Vitori, after having taken two wickets a piece en-route to helping Zimbabwe win their two opening games against Nepal and Afghanistan.
Vitori received his first suspension in January 2016, after which he was permitted to resume bowling in June 2016 after an independent reassessment. However, in November that same year, he was in trouble again as he was reported for an illegal action during an ODI against Sri Lanka and was suspended from bowling for 12 months.
Vitori underwent a reassessment again in January 2018 and was allowed to resume bowling with the test results finding his action legal, before being reported again after the non-broadcast match against Nepal.
“As per Article 3.6.2 of the ICC Illegal Bowling Regulations, Vitori’s bowling action was filmed in the next match he played after being reported, which was against Afghanistan on Tuesday, and the video footage of his bowling spells were provided to the Event Panel of Helen Bayne and Mark King, who are both members of the ICC Panel of Human Movement Specialists, for analysis and assessment,” stated an ICC media release.
“Following its review, the Event Panel concluded that Vitori employs an illegal bowling action, and, as such, in accordance with Article 6.5 of the regulations, he has been immediately suspended from bowling in international cricket,” the release added.
In the wake of Vitori’s suspension, the Chevrons have now brought in left-arm pacer Richard Ngarava as a replacement. Next up, Zimbabwe will face Hong Kong on Saturday at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo with a win likely to seal their progression to the Super Six tournament.