Saeed Ajmal can still make a return to international cricket by applying for reassessment after correcting his action © AFP
Saeed Ajmal can still make a return to international cricket by applying for reassessment after correcting his action © AFP

Karachi: Sep 9, 2014

Stung by the suspension of Saeed Ajmal for an illegal bowling action, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday said it would appeal against the ICC’s decision.

“The ban on Ajmal is a big blow to Pakistan cricket and we will appeal against the decision,” PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan said in an instant reaction to the news of the ban. PCB bigwigs and the national team manager and chief selector Moin Khan went into a emergency meeting at the Gaddafi stadium to chalk out a future strategy.

“We don’t know the exact details but Saeed has the option of also working on his action and taking fresh tests when he is ready,” Khan said. “What we know is that the ICC has recently changed its protocol on testing bowlers with suspect actions and other bowlers have also been reported. We could appeal in two weeks time,” he noted.

Pakistan’s former captain, Rashid Latif said he was expecting a suspension on Ajmal, all of whose deliveries were found to be illegal. “The ICC has come down hard on bowlers with even minor issues in their action and it appears things have changed from the past when leniency was shown by match officials and umpires,” he said.

Latif said Ajmal has no option but to work on modifying his action and going for a fresh test before the World Cup. “The domestic cricket season is also starting soon so he has the platform to work on his action.”

A senior board official told PTI that the board had already made up its mind to have experts work on Ajmal’s action and hope he passes the ICC tests before the World Cup. Ajmal, the top spinner in world cricket for the last three years, is not the first Pakistani bowler to be reported for a suspect bowling action as before him Shoaib Akhtar, Shabbir Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik have all been reported as well.

But Ajmal is the first Pakistani bowler under the new ICC protocols to be banned from bowling in international cricket. He was reported during the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle last month.

Pakistan’s former chief selector and coach, Mohsin Khan said he was disappointed by the ban on Saeed Ajmal. “He is a big asset for us and the PCB should now use all its resources to get him back into international cricket. I know no player is indispensable but if he is not available for the World Cup it will badly hit our chances of doing well there,” Mohsin said.

Complete coverage of Saeed Ajmal’s suspension here