West Indies, their performance in the first Test described by one writer as hapless, hopeless and helpless as they collapsed to their second heaviest defeat in Tests against Australia not only lost the services of pace bowler Shannon Gabriel during the match and for the rest of the tour.
News came that right-arm spinner Marlon Samuels more selected for his batting has been banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months after his action was found to be illegal for a second time since December 2013.
The West Indies may have known of this debarment as Samuels did not bowl in Australia’s single innings of 583 for 4 declared. West Indies used seven bowlers in their attempt to get wickets in the match which ended on the third day.
And Samuels made contributions of 9 and 3 runs as Wet Indies replied first with 223 and following on 148 all out with opener Kraigg Braithwaite standing out with 94 as the Caribbean side plunged to an innings and 214 run defeat.
The off spinner’s action can be reassessed by the ICC only after this period is complete.
Samuels, who was prohibited from bowling quicker deliveries in 2013, was reported for a suspect action in October, during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. Samuels underwent an independent assessment in Brisbane which revealed that his elbow extension exceeded the permitted 15-degree limit. Incidentally, the ICC had allowed Samuels to bowl in an ODI in November, after the 14-day grace period for reported bowlers had expired, on the grounds that the West Indies team was “incorrectly advised” about his eligibility.
Samuels was reported for the third time in his career in October. In 2008, he was called for a suspect faster ball after the third Test against South Africa in Durban. He was later suspended from bowling in international cricket but after remedial work on his action, was permitted to bowl in September 2011.
He was reported once again at the end of the second day of the second Test against India in Mumbaiin November 2013. He was subsequently allowed to bowl the off break delivery but not his quicker ball.
Samuels is the third bowler to be banned from bowling in international cricket by the ICC in 2015. Sunil Narine was suspended in November due to an illegal action. Like Samuels, Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez was handed a 12-month ban by the ICC in July, after his action was found to be illegal for a second time since November 2014.
Gabriel has been forced to return to his native Trinidad for continuing treatment on an ankle injury he suffered in Austrlai’s innings while Narine was not picked to play in the three match series.