ICC clears bowling actions of Ajmal and Ghazi
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The ICC approved the contentious bowling actions of offspinners Saeed Ajmal and Sohag Ghazi on Saturday, allowing both players to resume bowling in international cricket.
Pakistan’s Ajmal and Ghazi from Bangladesh are not part of their respective World Cup teams after both were suspended last year due to illegal bowling actions.
The ICC said testing in Chennai, India, last month showed the elbow flexing during the delivery action of both bowlers was within the allowed 15-degrees level of tolerance.
International umpires will be given video and photos of both players’ legal bowling actions, for comparison if either bowler comes under future suspicion of “chucking.”
Ajmal, 37, was reported during the first test against Sri Lanka in August while Ghazi was also reported in August after a one-day international in West Indies.
Another suspended Pakistani offspinner, Mohammad Hafeez, had to postpone his official retesting on Friday in Brisbane because of a calf injury.
Ajmal said he wanted to make a comeback to international cricket in the series against Bangladesh in April, but was available for the World Cup in case Pakistan has an injury crisis.
“I have set my sights on the series against Bangladesh, but if Pakistan needed me during the World Cup, I am available to join the team,” Ajmal said.
Ajmal had worked with former test bowlers Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Mohammad Akram at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore to remodel his bowling action after his initial reports suggested flex of over 40 degrees in his bowling arm.
Ajmal was hopeful to clear official testing of his bowling action after he underwent a private testing in England and claimed he had cleared all his deliveries.
“I am thankful to my coaches ... for working tirelessly with me and remodeling my action,” Ajmal said. “It was not an easy thing as I used to bowl 40 overs a day and practice very hard.”
Ajmal, who baffled batsmen with his “doosra” on all types of wickets around the world, has developed a new carom ball which he plans to bowl once he returns to international cricket.
Ajmal, who has taken 178 wickets in 35 test matches and 183 in 111 one-day internationals, said he has no plans to retire.
“If I had any retirement plans I would have quit when I was suspended last year,” Ajmal said. “I want to play for another three-four years before quitting the game.”