Pakistan’s ace off spinner Saeed Ajmal banned from bowling by the ICC.
In what will be a big blow to the Pakistan cricket team, their ace off spinner, Saeed Ajmal, has been banned from bowling by the ICC. The International Cricket Council deemed Ajmal’s action as illegal after following an individual analysis conducted at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. Saeed Ajmal was reported after the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last month.
Ajmal is currently sitting on top of the ICC’s Bowlers rankings in One Day Internationals. 36-year-old Ajmal’s bowling action exceeds the 15 degrees level of tolerance that is allowed under the cricket regulations.
In a statement, ICC said, “The International Cricket Council confirmed that an independent analysis has found the bowling action of Pakistan’s off-spinner Saeed Ajmal to be illegal and, as such, the player has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect.”
The Pakistani off spinner can apply for a re-assessment after modifying his action under clause 2.4 of the Regulations for the Review of Bowlers Reported with Suspected Illegal Bowling Actions.
This is not the first time that Ajmal has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action. Earlier in his career in 2009, he was reported for his ‘doosra’ – a delivery that spins in the opposite direction to an off break, often confusing the batsman into playing a poor shot – but was cleared after some tests.
Ajmal is the spearhead of Pakistan’s spin bowling in all three formats of the game – Test, ODI and T20. This decision by ICC, a few months before the World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand, might hurt Pakistan’s chances of winning the coveted World Cup Champions title.