England fast bowler James Kirtley faces further scrutiny of his action over the next few days after having its legality questioned for the second time in his career.
Just hours after claiming two for 33 on his one–day international debut against Zimbabwe, doubts were once again raised with match referee Colonel Naushad Ali admitting "there was a problem" with his unconventional action.
Colonel Ali has asked for television replays of Kirtley's performance during England's five–wicket victory and will study him once again on Saturday if he is selected for the second in the five–match series at the same venue.
Today's controversy follows just less than a year since he was officially cleared by the England and Wales Cricket Board having had his action questioned during the A tour to New Zealand two winters ago.
"Someone was talking to me about his past history and based on that I have a little concern and I've requested video footage," confirmed Colonel Ali, who has been an International Cricket Council match referee for the past three years.
"If there is something I will follow the ICC procedures and inform the team management – I can't take a decision until I have seen the video footage in slow motion.
"I'm still investigating at the moment, it's still in the observation stage, I've not put anything official in writing to the ICC and I will look at his bowling again if he plays on Saturday."
That leaves Kirtley facing an anxious two days awaiting his fate while England decide whether he is capable of a high–quality performance at the weekend while he is under such scrutiny.
Having been given the disturbing news, England held an emergency management meeting involving coach Duncan Fletcher, captain Nasser Hussain and ECB chief executive Tim Lamb, who flew into Harare this morning for an ICC meeting.
They refused to comment further other than to issue a statement confirming they had "received no communication from the match referee...under the procedures laid down by the ICC."
Kirtley received immediate support from Peter Moores, his coach at Sussex, who believes the ECB investigation last year should have been the end of the matter.
"What's very frustrating for us is I think is that we've been through this before," stressed Moores. "The ECB did say there was a question mark against him and we did a biomechanical analysis at Brighton University which proved beyond any doubt that his action was legitimate and he was cleared by an ECB panel.
"There is no other walk of life where you are cleared and then face the same problem 12 months later.
"It just doesn't seem fair to me. They've analysed it, it is all passed clear and yet we still seem to be in the same position."
Those tests involved filming his action from all different angles and secretly recording him in action during a championship match for Sussex last summer.
"It's the vogue thing that any young quick bowler had to go through the mill of – 'if he's any good he chucks it'," claimed Moores. "It was expensively examined, examining the elbow joint which was proved not to move."
The ECB tests, though, do not apply to international cricket and he is likely to have to go through the whole process again if Colonel Ali makes his concerns official by contacting the ICC.
Under a long drawn out process introduced by the ICC last year, Kirtley would have to work with ECB and ICC bowling experts to correct his action and only if he is reported twice more during the next year would he face the ultimate sanction of being banned from international cricket for 12 months.
But Kirtley can at least be reassured by the fact that since the procedure was introduced, no player has been suspended under the new guidelines.Reuse content