Sachithra Senanayake
Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake bowls during a practice session.Reuters

The International Cricket Council has banned Sri Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake for bowling in international cricket because of an illegal action on Saturday.

Senanayake was reported for a suspect action during the fourth one-dayer against England at Lord's. The off-spinner then underwent a bowling assessment test in Cardiff, where his action has been found illegal.

All four deliveries of the off-spinner - an arm ball, the doosra, a seam-up slider and the stock off-breaker - were found to be exceeding a 15-degree flex limit.

The 29-year-old, however, can appeal against the ban to a Bowling Review Group (BRG) within 14 days of getting the notice from the ICC. The BRG features two ICC officials, a former player, a current match referee and a former umpire.

If Senanayake does not appeal against the ban he will have to do radical work on his action before starting bowling again. However, if the off-spinner is found to be exceeding the flex limit again, he will be banned for one year.

It is unlikely Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will rush the off-spinner back to international cricket before making detailed work on his action and the SLC, on its website, has stated thatthe matter has been recommended to the Cricket Committee.

"The report concludes that Sachithra bowled with an illegal bowling action and consequently he is banned from bowling in international cricket, effective immediately," a statement on the SLC website said. "This matter will be referred to the SLC Cricket Committee for their recommendation."

This is not the first time Senanayake's action has been under scrutiny, as during Sri Lanka A tour to England in 2011 he was suspected of having an illegal action. However, he cleared the bio-mechanical assessment at the University of Western Australia.

The World Cup preparations of the Islanders have received a severe dent because of these findings as Senanayake was termed as their lead spinner. He had played a key role in the middle-over and Powerplays for the Lankans during their England tour last month and also played a major part in Sri Lanka's Asia Cup triumph in Bangladesh as well as the World T20.

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