Bowlers Who Got Banned For Illegal Bowling Action

Saeed Ajmal: Illegal Bowling Action

Bowling actions play a crucial role in Cricket, and ICC rules don’t allow bowlers to bend their hands more than 15 degrees. Due to the same reason (illegal bowling action), dozens of bowlers got banned from international cricket. The top 10 bowlers who were banned for their illegal bowling actions are Shoaib Akhtar, Shane Shillingford, Saeed Ajmal, Sachithra Senanayake, Shabbir Ahmed, Johan Botha, Prosper Utseya, Marlon Samuels, Abdur Razzak, and Sohag Gazi.

Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar, the “Rawalpindi Express,” was banned for illegal bowling action in December 1999 due to his bowling arm being beyond the allowed limit of 15 degrees, and he returned in 2000 with his aggressive pace and unique action.


Shane Shillingford

Shane Shillingford, the West Indian off-spinner, faced a series of challenges concerning his bowling action. He was first reported in November 2010 and subsequently banned in December 2010. However, Shillingford was cleared to play in June 2011. Unfortunately, he was reported again in November 2013 and banned in December 2013.

Saeed Ajmal

The Pakistani bowler was banned in 2014 for illegal bowling action. Ajmal is the same player who was famous for his “doosra,” or reverse swing ball.

Sachithra Senanayake

The Sri Lankan bowler was banned in 2014 for an illegal bowling action and returned within the same year after remedial. 

Shabbir Ahmed (P)

Shabbir Ahmed, a Pakistani fast bowler, was banned for 12 months twice in 2005 for illegal bowling action, and his illegal bowling was also reported in 1999 and 2004.

Johan Botha

The South African spinner Johan Botha was banned in 2003 for illegal bowling action and returned in 2006 after passing a bowling test conducted by ICC.

Prosper Utseya

Prosper Utseya, a Zimbabwean off-spinner, faced a ban in 2014 for an illegal bowling action.

Marlon Samuels

Marlon Samuels, a West Indian all-rounder, was banned from bowling in 2013 due to an illegal action. His off-spin deliveries involved significant elbow flexion, exceeding the allowed limit.

Abdur Razzak

Abdur Razzak from Bangladesh was banned in December 2008, but his ban was lifted in March 2009.

Sohag Gazi

Sohag Gazi, a Bangladeshi international cricketer banned in October 2014, didn’t return after that.

The following player was also banned for illegal bowling action, James Kirtley from England in October 2005, Marlon Samuels From West Indies in 2013, Kane Williamson from New Zealand in 2014, and Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny from Bangladesh was banned in March 2016.

Several famous cricketers have been reported to the International Cricket Council (ICC) over concerns regarding their bowling actions. They were all cleared to continue bowling without facing any action, including Kumar Dharmasena & Shaminda Eranga from Sri Lanka, Mohammad Hafeez & Shoaib Malik from Pakistan, Jermaine Lawson & Sunil Narine from West Indies, Brett Lee from Australia, and Harbhajan Singh from India.