Saeed Ajmal was banned from bowling earlier this month © Getty Images
Saeed Ajmal was banned from bowling earlier this month © Getty Images

Sep 19, 2014

Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan off-spinner and the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, has said that Saeed Ajmal will overcome his ban if he has the mental strength to do so. Muralitharan faced chucking allegations during his career, but went on to become one of the greatest bowlers in history. Ajmal was Pakistan’s most potent weapon before he was called for a suspect action and tests proved that he exceeded the permissible limit of 15 degrees.

Speaking to Times of India, Muralitharan said, “It is difficult to say how he would or should cope with it, because it depends on your personality, how strong you are in tackling obstacles that may appear along the way. If you are mentally strong, you will bounce back, if you’re weak, you’ll be finished.”

Speaking about his own experience, Muralitharan said, “In my case, I was naturally upset when the allegations were first made against me. After all, you’re only a human. However, I believed in myself. I wanted to prove it that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I cleared around six-seven tests during my almost two-decade old career. Once he (Ajmal) proves it that his action is legal, and the ‘bend’ in his arm while delivering the ball is below 15 degrees, he can bowl again.”

Ajmal was banned earlier this month when the results of the tests were revealed. Pakistan now hopes he makes the correction soon as he will now start working with Saqlain Mushtaq. After the correction work is done, Ajmal can apply for reassessment and if he is cleared, he can bowl again. Pakistan do hope that he is ready in time for the ICC World Cup 2015.

Complete coverage of Saeed Ajmal’s suspension