Suspect bowling action costs Johan Botha IPL contract

His suspect bowling action might have cost South African off-spinner Johan Botha a chance to play for defending champions Rajasthan Royals in the high-profile Indian Premier League.

According to media reports, Botha was in line for a lucrative contract with Rajasthan Royals in the weeks prior to the Twenty20 tournament. But the IPL franchise dropped the idea after the off-spinner was reported for suspect action during the fourth ODI against Australia in Port Elizabeth recently.

The Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals was understood to have been the team most interested in acquiring his services for the second season of the IPL in the absence of last year’s Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Shane Watson, highest wicket-taker Sohail Tanvir and Australian speedster Shaun Tait.

“There were two or three teams interested in my services, but they could not offer me a contract because of this issue,” ‘Sports 24′ quoted Botha as saying.

South African Cricketers’ Association chief executive, Tony Irish also confirmed that an IPL franchise was interested in Botha.

“I am aware that there had been a sniff from an IPL franchise, but the focus now is to get him tested and cleared. I am sure that if he is cleared, there will be a lot of (IPL) interest in him,” Irish told a website.

“I was actually surprised that he wasn’t picked up earlier, because he is without doubt one of the best Twenty20 bowlers in international cricket. But the most important thing is to get to Perth and hopefully get the all-clear to resume his international career.”

According to ICC guidelines, bowlers reported for suspicious actions are eligible to continue playing until tests prove their elbow flexion exceeds 15 degrees.

Meanwhile, Botha is due to fly to Perth early next week to undergo tests at the University of Western Australia, the same place where he was examined when he was last reported in 2006.

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