By Curtis Morton Sr
As I passed through Happy Hill Alley on Tuesday 17th December, I saw a familiar figure, sitting by the roadside. He seemed lost in his own thoughts – looking forlorn. I went over and greeted him, as is my custom and enquired as to his wellbeing.
It was Jason Campbell, the renowned Jamaican born/Nevisian left arm leg spinner, who in recent times, has represented the Leewards Hurricanes with great distinction.
Recently, Nevisians and Leeward islanders were shocked by a media release that indicated:
“…….an Opinion Report by an Independent Assessor at Loughborough University has found the bowling action of Leeward Islands Hurricanes’ left-arm spinner Jason Campbell to be illegal and, as such, he has been suspended from bowling in domestic West Indies matches with immediate effect.”
The assessment revealed that Campbell’s deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under playing regulations.
Campbell will remain suspended until such time as his action is found to be legal, either by an Opinion Report from Loughborough University or by an independent analysis from an accredited testing centre, in accordance with the CWI Regulations for Dealing with Suspected Illegal Bowling Actions…..”
I asked Campbell about the report.
He indicated that he had not received any official documentation in writing. He has not even read the press release but has been told about it by many persons.
I asked him if anyone has reached out to him to guide him in the process, as regards the way forward, in terms of getting his action ‘legalized.’ The sad response was ‘no.’
I told him to reach out to President of the Nevis Cricket Association, Mr. Denrick Liburd. He said he spoke to him and he indicated that he will get back to him, but has not done so as yet. I told him to get back in touch with Mr. Liburd urgently.
I question the lack of assistance though, by people in the know.
If it was someone else, would certain persons have reached out to him already, in terms of guiding him through this stressful process?
Why was he called for a suspect action though?
Campbell made his regional debut since 2011 and from that time until now, there has not been a hint of talk about an illegal action. Was it the fact that he completely bamboozled the Trinidad and Tobago team in the recent Super 50 tournament that attracted the ire of someone? In that game, he returned the amazing bowling figures of 10 overs, 3 maidens and just 18 runs with 1 wicket as well. Now based on the powerful Trinbago batting line up, those bowling figures are astonishing. Make it worse, that effectively helped to get the local team out of the finals, in front of a home crowd.
I guess there must have been quite a number of upset people at the Park on that day.
Strangely, he was not called in that game, but in the next game (the finals), when he bowled not so well and 53 runs were struck from his bowling, he was called for an illegal action.
I can’t help but recollecting that it was in Trinidad in 1988 when Sir Curtly Ambrose was giving the Trinbago batsmen the ‘work over,’ that a certain Trinidadian umpire by the name of Clyde Cumberbatch, called the great fast bowler for throwing.
There was an umpire named Darrell Hair from Australia who also called the famous Muralitharan for throwing, seven times in the space of three overs, in 1995. After leaving umpiring, he was later found guilty of embezzlement. Fun was normally made of Umpire Hair, as persons said that he could HEAR well, but just could not see (in reference to many of his umpiring decisions).
None of the umpires in the game under review, are from Trinidad, but is it significant that the call was made in Trinidad? Was pressure applied from somewhere?
How come, also with other bowlers called for suspect actions, there is mostly mention of the fact that they can continue to bowl until some given period but in ‘Campbie’s’ case, it was noted ‘with immediate effect?’
I am hoping that someone in the know who is reading this article, will reach out to ‘Campbie’ and guide him through this process. The young man wants to continue playing cricket at the highest level, but he has arrived at this bump in the road and does not know what to do and needs some urgent guidance.
Who will help him with the remedial work required?
How is the process completed?
Where does he have to go to do the remedial work?
Somebody please reach out to Jason Campbell and help him through this phase of his life. Please!!!!!