ICC suspends Saeed Ajmal

2014-09-09 08:46
Saeed Ajmal (AFP)

Dubai - Top Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has been suspended from international cricket after tests found his bowling action was illegal, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Tuesday.

Ajmal, the world's number one bowler in one-day internationals, was suspended "with immediate effect" following an assessment in Brisbane last month.

The 36-year-old was reported for a suspect action after last month's first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. He can apply for a re-assessment once he has modified his action.

"The player has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect," the ICC statement said.

"The analysis revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations."

The ruling is a blow to Pakistan ahead of their series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates starting next month.

It also comes just a few months before the one-day Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which starts in February.

Ajmal will now undergo remedial work on his bowling action in the Western Australian University at Perth where human movement expert Daryl Foster will work on his action.

The ICC said Ajmal can be tested again once the remedial work report is satisfactory.

"Ajmal can apply for a re-assessment after he has modified his bowling action in accordance with rules," said the ICC.

But if Ajmal is cleared and reported again within a period of two years he will be banned from all international cricket for 12 months.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) called a meeting to discuss the ICC announcement and vowed to appeal.

"It's a big jolt for us. It's not easy to replace a player like Ajmal who is a match-winner, and we will appeal against the ICC decision," said a PCB spokesman.

Ajmal became the seventh Pakistani to be reported for a suspect action.

Pakistani paceman Shabbir Ahmed was the first bowler in international cricket to be banned for 12 months after his action was reported twice in a 12-month period.

Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Riaz Afridi and Shoaib Malik were other Pakistani bowlers reported for suspect actions in the past.

West Indian Shane Shillingford was also banned for a year after his action was reported twice in 2013.

The ICC has recently come down hard on bowlers with suspect actions after its cricket committee decided no bowler should be allowed to play at international level without remedial work.

In July this year Sri Lanka's Sachitra Senanayake and New Zealand's Kane Williamson were also reported and subsequently banned until remedial work on their actions was completed.

Zimbabwe's Prosper Utseya and Bangladesh's Sohag Gazi were also reported for suspect action last month.

All the bowlers reported this year have been off-spinners.

Read more on:    saeed ajmal  |  cricket

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