The Sri Lankan off-break bowler Akila Danajaya has been suspended for 12 months by ICC after his bowling action was deemed to be illegal. Danajaya was handed a 12-month suspension due to ICC's penalty rule, which states that if a bowler inside a period of 2 years failed the assessment twice he will automatically get penalised. However, Danajaya can bowl in domestic cricket conducted by Sri Lankan cricket, with the approval of the board.
His actions were reported illegal during the first Test against New Zealand in Galle from 14-18 August where he took a fifer in first innings. Afterward, he went through an independent assessment on 29th August in Chennai and the results of the test noted his bowling action is not legal.
Earlier Danajaya was reported for a suspect action following Sri Lanka's first Test against England in Galle last year. Later on, His actions were assessed in Brisbane, and he was suspended from bowling until he cleared all the required tests conducted by ICC. In February he was then cleared to bowl. But he was not as effective in ODIs when he returned and due to this, he was not selected for the ICC World Cup 2019.
Galle test match against New Zealand in August was his first international match after the suspension, and he took in total 6 wickets in that match which included a fifer in the first innings. He did not play the second test but was selected for the T20's and finished second-highest wicket-taker after Lasith Malinga taking 2 for 28, 3 for 36 and 1 for 30.
Danajaya will be entitled to approach the ICC for a re-assessment of his bowling action after the expiry of this one-year period."
Earlier in 2015, the Sri Lankan cricket board in accordance with ICC, appointed Suspend Action Bowling Committee(SABC) which suspended 170 bowlers for illegal action. Afterward, 42 bowlers cleared the initial process, these bowlers were given bowling programs to help improve themselves and to change the action into a completely legal one.
The ICC has applied a very strict rule on all cricket playing nations. Similarly, Saeed Ajmal, Sunil Narine, Marlon Samuel, Johan Botha, Abdul Razak, Sachithra Senanayake, Shane Shillingford, James Kirtley, and Kane Williamson were suspended due to illegal actions.
ICC REGULATIONS FOR THE REVIEW OF BOWLERS REPORTED WITH SUSPECT ILLEGAL BOWLING ACTIONS
According to ICC, an Illegal Bowling Action is a bowling action where the player’s Elbow Extension exceeds 15 degrees, measured using the Standard Analysis Protocols from the point at which the bowling arm reaches the horizontal until the point at which the ball is released. Any Elbow Hyperextension shall be discounted for the purposes of determining an Illegal Bowling Action.
When a player is reported for a suspected Illegal Bowling Action, they are required to submit to an independent analysis of their bowling action (Independent Assessment).
If the Player failed to submit to the Independent Assessment within the deadlines referred by reason of any action, inaction or otherwise of the Player (including injury), they shall be immediately suspended from bowling in International Cricket until they submit the Independent Assessment. And as per the latest report if a player is reported of illegal action for the second time within a two-year period this would lead to an automatic suspension for a period of 12 months.
Danajaya has played in total 6 tests, 36 ODI'S and 22 T20's with 33, 51 and 22 wickets respectively. This 12 months suspension is a big blow for Sri Lanka as they have to play their next seven tests in Asia which includes 2 test matches in Pakistan and 5 test matches in Sri Lanka.