Ajmal action cleared by ICC


Published: Saturday 7th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Pakistan mystery spinner Saeed Ajmal has been cleared to return to international cricket after tests cleared his remodelled bowling action.

Ajmal has been unable to pull on a Pakistan shirt since last August after his action was reported by umpires during a Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle.

But, after undergoing a second round of testing on his action in Chennai last month, the 37-year-old has been given the green light by the International Cricket Council to resume an international career that has netted him 441 wickets across all formats.

Crucially, all of Ajmal’s deliveries passed the ICC testing. When he was last tested in Brisbane six months ago, shortly after being reported, it was found that he illegally straightened his arm by more than 15 degrees in all of his deliveries.

Bangladesh’s Sohag Gazi was also cleared by the ICC to make his return in a statement that read: “The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed that following remedial work and retests, the bowling actions of Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal and Sohag Gazi of Bangladesh have been found to be legal, and the players can now resume bowling in international cricket.

“At the retests, it was revealed that the amount of elbow extensions in both the off-spinners’ bowling actions for all their deliveries was within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the ICC regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions.”

Ajmal remains unable to play at the upcoming World Cup, however, with Pakistan having already submitted their 15-man squad.

The spinner’s only hope of playing at the tournament, which begins on February 14, would be if a member of Pakistan’s squad was to suffer injury.

Even then, any inclusion would need to be approved by the ICC’s event technical committee.

Ajmal’s clearance is nonetheless an important step forward for a bowler who has remained at the top of the ICC’s one-day international bowling rankings during his absence.

Pakistan will now hope for similar news over all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who is due to undergo testing on his action in Brisbane next week.

Hafeez has been included in Pakistan’s World Cup squad as a batsman but, should his action also pass the testing, he could resume bowling his off-spin at the tournament.

Published: Saturday 7th February 2015 by The News Editor

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