Surprised, and not surprised:
South African offspinner Johan Botha has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action by match officials after the fourth ODI against Australia in Port Elizabeth. Botha will undergo a bio-mechanical assessment of his action, but is eligible to play international cricket at the discretion of Cricket South Africa (CSA) while the test results are pending.
When I wrote this:
Tell ya something for nothing. Botha's action is not a whole lot better than it was in 2006. Maybe it's just when he's "bowling" a toppy.
... back on January 16, the belligerent among you might have pointed to sour grapes since Botha had been such a key member of the SA attack which demolished Australia in the CB Series.
But there wouldn't have been too many belligerents, would there? The ensuing weeks would have quashed any doubt. What with the google searches, jeers from the crowds, talk-back radio callers, everyone could see Botha was chucking. The Channel Nine commentators were embarrassed into silence and/or sly barbs. Even Spanky Roebuck referred to Botha's "curious off-break". Pity Spanky is not so observant when it comes to a certain other wicket thief.
Such was Botha's impact as a middle overs stopper with the ball, late order hitter with the bat and more than capable captain, he was mooted as the player of the series.
Putting aside the captaincy and batting, why was he such an effective bowler? He cheated.
And he'll be back:
[O]n the rare occasions the bowler is cited, they need only stroll off to the bowling doctors, go through the motions under 15 degrees in the lab, and receive the rubber stamp that will allow them "bowl" again.
And do you think there's a chance in Hades Hot Bread Kitchens Botha will be cited, after he played a significant role in the Vark's win over Straya? Not on your life.
Come on, Mr Official, do your job properly and prove me wrong.
Happy to be proved wrong.
Even happier if the ICC someday grows the balls to wipe out off-spin cheating and all its mentions in the record books.