JUST two days after guiding Zimbabwe to a memorable victory over Afghanistan, Zimbabwe’s left-arm seamer, Brian Vitori’s career suffered a major blow after he was reported for an illegal bowling action for a third time in two years and subsequently suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 28-year-old Masvingo-born left-arm bowler claimed the crucial wicket of Shapoor Zadran in the 50th over to seal a nail-biting two-run victory for Zimbabwe against their nemesis, Afghanistan in an ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier group match at Queens Sports Club on Tuesday.
Vitori’s career, however, took another dramatic twist for the worse yesterday when the ICC confirmed that his bowling action was reported by the match officials during Zimbabwe’s opening ICC World Cup qualifier match against Nepal on Sunday.
“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,” an ICC media release said.
“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.
“Vitori’s suspension shall remain in place until such time he submits to an assessment of his bowling action at an ICC-approved testing centre and the assessment concludes that his bowling action is legal,” the release added.
This is the third time that Vitori has been suspended from bowling in international cricket, having received his first suspension in January 2016, after a T20 series against Bangladesh, just a couple of months before the 2016 World T20.
He was permitted to resume bowling in June 2016 after an independent reassessment.
However, in November that same year, he was reported for another illegal action during an one-day international (ODI) against Sri Lanka and was suspended from bowling for 12 months.
After a successful second stint at rehabilitation, where he had the support of the entire technical team of the national side, Vitori was hopeful of launching yet another successful comeback before yesterday’s blow.
Vitori, according to the ICC, will no longer be available to bowl for Zimbabwe in the World Cup qualifiers, where Zimbabwe face Hong Kong tomorrow in their third group match.
Zimbabwe conclude the group matches on Monday, with a clash against Scotland.
Meanwhile, the ICC also revealed that event technical committee of the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier 2018 had allowed the Zimbabwe cricket team to replace Vitori with Richard Ngarava.
Ngarava is a left-arm fast bowler and a lower-order batsman, who has played in six ODIs, taking eight wickets and scoring 12 runs. His last ODI for Zimbabwe was against Scotland in Edinburgh in June 2017.