Saeed Ajmal was suspended by ICC for illegal bowling action © AFP
Saeed Ajmal was suspended by ICC for illegal bowling action © AFP

Karachi: Sep 11, 2014

Suspended Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal will start remedial work on his bowling action next week after it was deemed illegal, the country’s cricket chief said on Thursday. Ajmal, who turns 37 next month, was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday after being reported during the Galle Test against Sri Lanka last month and assessed by an Australian lab.

Ajmal will not appeal against the decision and instead applied for reassessment with the ICC after correcting his action. “We have requested him to come next week and hopefully he will appear before the committee to start remedial work,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan told AFP.

“We had two options in Ajmal’s case,” he said. “One (was) to appeal against the decision, but after the ICC rules no longer take medical evidence into account we see slim chances in an appeal.” When Ajmal’s action was first reported in 2009 he was cleared because of unusual bend in his arm, like former Sri Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan.

But Khan said medical reasons were no longer considered valid and the PCB would be aiming to improve Ajmal’s action over a three to six week period with the help of former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. Saqlain, who is widely regarded as the inventor of controversial “doosra,” a delivery which turns in the opposite direction to the normal off-break, is set to arrive in Lahore from England on September 22.

Pakistan have already begun the hunt for Ajmal’s replacement for their series next month against Australia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pakistan play a Twenty20, three one-days and two Tests against Australia starting from October 5. That will be followed by three Tests, five one-days and two Twenty20s against New Zealand, also in UAE.

Complete coverage of Saeed Ajmal’s suspension here