Saeed Ajmal's action doubtful: Rashid Latif

Rashid Latif said if you look closely at Saeed Ajmal’s action, it is likely that the match officials could report his action Getty Images

Karachi: Jan 17, 2012

Pakistan’s cricket fraternity is outraged at the questions being raised about the bowling action of off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who bamboozled England with seven wickets in the first Test in Dubai, but former captain Rashid Latif feels some doubt is understandable.

The Pakistan cricket community reacted with anger and contempt over remarks by former England fast bowler Bob Willis about Ajmal’s action being suspicious while bowling the “Doosra”. But video footage suggests Ajmal’s action could come under scrutiny in the Test.

“I can understand the reaction of our former players to what Willis and the English media is saying because they have always depended on negative tactics to pressurise and defame our players,” Latif said.

“But if you look closely at his action while bowling some deliveries it appears to me the match officials could report his action and I think the Pakistan team management and board should be prepared for this,” he told PTI.

He pointed out that after a proper video analysis it appeared that in some instances, Ajmal’s bending of the arm could be reviewed by the ICC.

“I don’t want to discourage him or demean our team’s brilliant performance on the first day of the Test but it would be a good move on part of the team management and players to sit down and analyse some things themselves and be prepared for the worst.”

Latif said Ajmal had developed into a quality spinner but should be prepared to bear any pressure that comes in the next few days. Ajmal has been reported for his bowling action once before in April 2009 but an ICC panel cleared him after biomechanical tests.

Since than no umpire or match referee has raised issues over Ajmal’s action even while bowling the “Doosra” but Latif felt the English media and commentators will not let up on the issue.

“They know Ajmal is the main threat to them and they are finding it difficult reading his variation so they will try to pressurise him and making an issue of his action is the start of this campaign.”

Ajmal himself was pretty nonchalant when asked about the comments by Willis.

“Look my job is to bowl well for my country and I am doing that. The umpires and referee is out there to decide about my action. I am taking no pressure on this count at all,” he told ‘Geo News’ in Dubai.

Ajmal said he had enjoyed taking seven wickets on the first day of the Test but his job was still not done in the match or series.

“Let them say what they want I am coming under no pressure. I will try to bowl with all the variations I have at my disposal,” he added.

Pakistan’s former Test off-spinners Saqlain Mushtaq and Tauseef Ahmed also advised Ajmal not to be bothered by the issue being raised in the England camp.

“The ‘Teesra’ is all part of mind games played at this level. But Ajmal has bowled well and he should just stick to his job because these issues will always be there,” Saqlain said.

Tauseef said England first needed to sort out the “Doosra” from Ajmal before even thinking about the “Teesra”.