Holmes cleared to play in Birmingham League

Warwickshire off-spinner Maurice Holmes will begin his attempt to have his controversial bowling action cleared when he plays for Barnt Green in the Birmingham & District Premier League on Saturday July 23.

Holmes was suspended from bowling by the England and Wales Cricket Board two weeks ago after his action was twice reported by umpires this season.

He had to submit himself for independent analysis after which the ECB announced that Holmes’s action and the pace he bowled at was different to when he was first reported during a Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Leicestershire at Edgbaston in early May.

The ECB banned Holmes from bowling in all first and second team county cricket and the suspension was also extended to the Birmingham League.

Holmes, who has been dubbed the ‘English Murali’ because of the similarity of his action to Muttiah Muralitharan’s, has been working on his action in the nets with Warwickshire bowling coach Graeme Welch.

Warwickshire have now persuaded the ECB to allow him to play for Barnt Green at Kidderminster Victoria where he will line up alongside Dougie Brown, the county’s second team coach.

“Maurice has been doing a lot of work with Graeme Welch to get his pace up and we think he’s ready to start bowling again,” said Warwickshire’s director of cricket Ashley Giles.

“The ECB have said that he can play in the league and we will monitor him playing for Barnt Green before we decide when to re-submit him for testing.”

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