Suspended Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal will have his bowling action reassessed in India this month as he tries to make a comeback to international cricket, an official said Tuesday.
The 37-year-old was ranked world number one in one-day internationals when his action was reported during the Galle Test in Sri Lanka in August last year. He was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) a month later after a bio-mechanical analysis.
Ajmal last month withdrew from next month's World Cup after failing to completely alter his action, leaving Pakistan's bowling attack badly weakened.
Mohammad Akram, head coach of the Pakistan Cricket Board's national academy, said Ajmal would travel to the Indian city of Chennai for a reassessment.
"Ajmal will have his bowling action reassessed in Chennai on January 24 and he as well as we are confident that he will clear the test," Akram told AFP.
Under ICC rules bowlers are allowed to bend their elbow by up to 15 degrees, beyond which the action is deemed illegal. Suspended bowlers must remodel their action and then undergo a reassessment to get clearance to play again.
Ajmal, whose elbow flex reached 43 degrees, did remedial work under former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and had unofficial tests in England.
Under ICC rules if a bowler fails a reassessment test he does not face any ban but will have to appear for another assessment, the time period for which will be determined by the ICC Bowling Review Group.
If Ajmal passes the January 24 test he will be available for international cricket. However, he will be banned for 12 months should his action be reported again at international level within two years of the first report.
Superstar Chris Gayle known for his fearsome approach towards opponents has this time turned his attack towards national selectors for snubbing match-winning all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo for the World Cup 2015.
Both cricketers have had rifts with with West Indies Cricket Board. Bravo had even led a rebellion over payment issues last year on an India tour.
West Indies will be led by inexperienced Jason Holder in the mega event and Gayle is not impressed by selectors.
"How can those two guys not be in the team? To me it's got to be like victimisation when you look at it towards those two guys," Gayle said.
"Come on, guys. It is just ridiculous. Come on. Honestly, it threw me off."
The omission of the duo has weakened the team according to Gayle as he believes that the team’s strength has been compromised.
"We don't have our strongest team without Pollard, nor Bravo. So that is actually sad for us. It is a really big blow for us to actually lose two key players, two key allrounders as well, very good in the outfield. I don't know what's the history behind it, but it is a ridiculous selection from my point of view."
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Misbah-ul Haq are not pleased with the ill-timed leak of the skipper’s retirement from one-day cricket after the World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.
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Misbah had urged the board to announce his retirement unlike teammate Shahid Afridi, who decided to go ahead with the decision on his own.
Both PCB and Misbah had reached consensus that it will be gracefully and formally announced at the beginning of Pakistan training camp for World Cup which is starting on January 13 and will run for five days.
However, before it could be announced by the board, the news came out and caused a stir despite it being known that this could be Misbah’s last outing in Green colours.
“The whole plan and occasion has been disturbed by this ill-timed leak and it has neither pleased the PCB or Misbah,” a PCB official revealed.
“We had a proper plan as to how it would be announced but that all has been hit. However, we’ll end up doing the announcement along with Misbah before the end of training camp.”
It has been learnt that members of the PCB quizzed themselves as to who spilled the secret news. They are coming up with a version that it was none of the top-brass officials but someone from the selection committee who leaked it to the media.
The board’s version is that Misbah had shared his retirement plans to selectors as well during a meeting in Karachi when World Cup squad was finalised in presence of head coach Waqar Younis.
“Misbah was looking forward to reveal his retirement plans in a sober manner but once the news broke out, he had to come with his abrupt statement. He isn’t someone who will make an issue out of it but feels let down that he couldn’t reveal it officially through PCB or himself to his fans,” an aide of Misbah explained.
One thing which is really surprising is the fact that PCB even bothered to send an email on Afridi’s retirement announcement but it was willing to give a proper platform to Misbah which suggest that the relations are not good between the star all-rounder and the PCB.