Oxfordshire Cricket Association 2020

Oxfordshire Cricket Association Guidelines to Address Suspect Bowling Actions 2020


The following is the recommended process to be followed in the event an Umpire has reason to believe that, in his opinion, an individual player’s bowling action is suspect and may not conform to the prescribed delivery position either continuously or intermittently.

NOTE: This process does not deal with a deliberate throw of a cricket ball on delivery to a batsman, which should at all times be called a “No Ball.”

1)    On the Field of play:

  1. Further to the initial observation of a bowling action that appears suspect, a formal record should be made by the umpire (i.e. name of player, over and ball). Other than to continue to monitor, no further action is necessary at this time.
  2. Upon a second occurrence (recorded as above) the umpire concerned should first establish if his colleague has similar concerns / recordings.

Whether the other Umpire has any specific input or not, the Captain of the fielding side must be alerted (in the presence of both umpires) as to the nature and recorded facts of the observations and informed that a report will be made in writing to the League immediately following the completion of the game.

It is the responsibility of the Captain to inform the bowler / player concerned.

There should be no debate from either party on the field of play.

In the majority of cases, the calling of subsequent “No Balls” should be discouraged as finite assessment would not have been made at that time.

However, if in the opinion of BOTH Umpires their concern regarding subsequent suspect bowling is of such a nature as to affect the game itself, then TOGETHER they may agree to:

  1. Speak with the Fielding Captain and suggest that the bowler is taken off or;
  2.  Inform the Captain, who will inform the bowler / player, that each subsequent delivery if considered suspect, WILL be called “No Ball.”  

2)    Report:

A full and concise report must be written by the observing Umpire(s) and sent within 3 full days (i.e. excludes the day of the game) to the Disciplinary Co-ordinator, with the Chairman of the League, the Appointment Secretary of the Umpires Panel and the General Secretary of the League placed on copy. This may be accomplished via email.

3)    Report Management:

Upon receipt the Disciplinary Co-ordinator (or his nominated deputy) will investigate whether there are any similar reports and in any event write to the Chairman of the Club affected recording that a report has been received and an investigation commenced.


The report is the first received of any kind regarding the player and his bowling action (within the last 12 months), the League will notify both the Club and the Umpires panel of this fact. There will be no further action taken by the League other than a suggestion for the Club to consider a review.


If the report is the second or more of any kind regarding the player and his bowling action, within any 12 month period or there are serious concerns over the legality of the player’s bowling action the League will notify both the Club and the Umpires panel that the player must not bowl until a full assessment of his or her action has taken place.

The responsibility, enforcement and any costs incurred will reside with the Club and / or the player.

4) Assessment:

There is agreement with the Oxfordshire County Board that a suitably qualified professional coach (Level 3 or above) may assist with this assessment but a fee may ensue.

The assessment will if possible include obtaining video footage of the bowler’s action in a match or in net practice situation for discussion between the coach and the player.

Following assessment and the provision of a formal report, including an opinion and recommendation from the professional coach, the player will be informed by the League of one of the following options:

  1. To resume bowling immediately as no problem was found or the action was considered to be within acceptable limits.
  2. Be permitted to bowl within defined limitation.
  3. Complete a course of remedial action as defined within the report before bowling again.
  4. Be referred to the ECB for further assessment and recommendation. Again this will be at the Club / Player cost.

Upon receipt of the assessment and following review of all recommendations, the League shall act as follows:

5) Primary Notification

It is the responsibility of the League to communicate with all affected parties the course of action to be followed and to map the process for the Club and Player as necessary. This will include the degree of acceptance of the report, acknowledgement of the remedial work to be completed; any bowling limitations to be applied in the intervening period; or the referral process to be followed:

  1. Both the Club and the player will be advised within 7 days following receipt of the Assessment Report.
  2. The Chairman and the Appointments Secretary of the Umpires Panel will be copied for completeness.

Any subsequent updates to this Primary Notification shall be at the discretion of the League and be driven by the needs of cricket and the status of the issue. At all times the aim of all parties must be to address any issues with sympathy and understanding for the player concerned but not to the exclusion of the Laws of Cricket.

The issue is only concluded when the League formally write to all affected parties (i.e. the Player; Club and Umpires) stating that the issue is resolved to their satisfaction and detail any limitations that may ensue (as contained in item 4 above but not limited by them).

6) Appeals

Any player or Club may appeal the decision of the League on any substantive matter relating to the suspect action, or their findings, or conclusions. Such an appeal should be made in the first instance to the Chairman of the Oxfordshire Cricket Association.

Any costs involved in further investigations and analysis of bowling actions will be borne by the club and/or player as this may involve referral through the ECB processes as described in the ECB regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions in non-first class cricket.