Published On: Thu, Sep 11th, 2014

Former Pakistan star Saqlain Mushtaq brought in to help with Saeed Ajmal’s action

Pakistani cricket authorities have turned to former top spinner, Saqlain Mushtaq to help Saeed Ajmal change his bowling action and make a comeback to international cricket.

Mushtaq, who now lives in Britain, said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had contacted him after the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended Ajmal on Tuesday. Tests showed all Ajmal’s deliveries breached the permissible limit for straightening the elbow joint.

“The PCB has contacted me to help out Saeed and I am willing to do that. He is a gutsy character and can adjust his action accordingly,” Saqlain told the Geo Super channel.
Saeed Ajmal bowls during a practice session.

Ajmal, 36, underwent tests at a biomechanic lab in Brisbane under the new ICC protocols for bowlers with suspect bowling actions after he was reported by match officials following the first test against Sri Lanka in Galle last month.

“Saeed has problems right now with his action as he appears to be going beyond the 15 degrees elbow extension allowed by the ICC,” Mushtaq said.

“But there is no doubt he is a world class bowler and his absence is a big disappointment for Pakistan cricket. So he needs to now work on his action so that he can get back into international cricket again.”

Mushtaq, 37, credited with pioneering the “doosra” delivery, took 208 test and 288 one-day wickets before a knee injury cut short his Pakistan career in 2004.

“We are presently in process of working out a formal contract with him (Mushtaq)because with his experience he can certainly help out Ajmal before the World Cup,” a PCB official said.

The official also said that the PCB had decided against appealing against Ajmal’s suspension.

“It is risky because if the appeal is not upheld he will be banned for a year. The better option is he works on his action and tries to make a comeback,” the official added.

Ajmal, who has taken 178 test and 183 ODI wickets, can apply for re-assessment after modifying his action.

Match officials have reported six bowlers for suspect actions since July and three have been suspended. On Wednesday Bangladesh paceman Al-Amin Hossain become the latest bowler to be cited. He must undergo biomechanical tests within 21 days, the ICC said.

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