Roseau (Dominica), Dec 18: The Dominica government said it was standing behind the embattled West Indies off-spinner, Shane Shillingford, who has been suspended from international cricket because of an illegal bowling action.
The 30-year-old Dominican, who is now with the West Indies team in New Zealand, has been promised support by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to rehabilitate his bowling in the New Year, reports CMC.
Shillingford took six wickets at 42.66 in the first two Tests against New Zealand but will now not be available for the final match in Hamilton, which starts Thursday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Monday said Shillingford was suspended from bowling in international matches after his actions were found illegal. It also said that his Jamaican teammate Marlon Samuels would continue to bowl his standard off-break delivery but the quicker delivery exceeded the prescribed levels of tolerance.
Sports Minister Justina Charles in a statement said Shillingford has the full support of the entire country.
"The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports wishes to place on record its solidarity with Shane Shillingford, a man of the soil who has made Dominica proud over the past years."
She said the country was very disappointed at the ICC release and that "over the past few years Shane has emerged as one of the top slow bowlers in international cricket and has been an integral part of West Indies resurgent effort in recent years."
"It is, therefore unfortunate that this incident at this point in time and it is definitely going to be a major blow for West Indies cricket. However we stand resolute with Shane and we are confident that this too shall pass," the minister said.
"We pray that he will continue to comply with recommendations and following the remedial interventions the bio-mechanical analysis will be favourable," she said, adding that she was confident he would emerge as a better and stronger player.
The government said it was prepared to provide support to Shillingford, its goodwill ambassador, to ensure his return to international cricket as soon as possible.
"We can recall that in 2010, Shane was suspended for similar illegal action, he underwent remedial action and was cleared by ICC and so we are confident that as he goes through the ordeal again for the second time that he will persevere and be successful," Charles said.
"I can say on behalf of the government we will stand at his side and give the necessary support he requires in order to ensure that he can continue," she added.
Shillingford, who made his test debut against South Africa in 2010, has played 14 tests and collected 65 wickets including five-wicket hauls in an innings on six occasions.