England Board clears Kirtley~~s action for 2nd time

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2002, 20:27 [IST]
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London: James Kirtley's action was cleared on Tuesday by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the second time in his career.

Sussex fast-medium bowler Kirtley, 27, had his action called into question last October by Pakistan match referee Colonel Naushad Ali during England's One-day series in Zimbabwe. But following a three-hour meeting at Lord's on Tuesday, under the chairmanship of former Essex off spinner David Acfield, the ECB's bowling review group gave Kirtley the go-ahead to continue his career after studying video footage of his action filmed last week. Their findings will now be forwarded to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its consideration. Over the winter Kirtley has been working on his action with former England quick turned ECB bowling coach Bob Cottam. Kirtley, the first England bowler to be reported under new ICC regulations, said Tuesday, "I'm obviously delighted with the decision and look forward to playing First Division cricket with Sussex." "It's not been an enviable period and it has required a lot of hard work, physically, technically and mentally." However, Kirtley added that he was now a quicker and better bowler. "The results suggest that I have got quicker. I am bowling from a slightly higher trajectory and have got more bounce." He added, "I had a great opportunity to work with Bob Cottam to whom I am very grateful. "We wanted to allay people's suspicions in the future and it gave me the chance to improve my action. We are talking small degrees of change, but we were looking to sort out the problem once and for all." Kirtley, took 75 wickets for Sussex when they won promotion last season and is looking forward to a similar haul in the top flight. "The challenge now is to do it in the First Division for Sussex. We want to make our mark, not just survive and hope we can be up there competing with the top teams," Kirtley explained. "The support I have received from Sussex and my friends and family has been fantastic and I am very grateful for that. Now I hope to take some wickets and repay them." This is not the first time Kirtley's action has come under official scrutiny. Doubts were raised after the England 'A' tour to Australia in 1999 but Kirtley's action was cleared by the ECB following studies at Brighton University.

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