As Saeed Ajmal reignited debate about his bowling action, former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, the inventor of the doosra, urged the in-form bowler to ignore the ongoing debate and focus on what he does best: destroy the opposition.
In an interview with the BBC, Ajmal appeared to confirm a special permission from the International Cricket Council (ICC) that allowed him to straighten his arm beyond the allowed 15 degrees. He reportedly went on to say that he enjoys the levy of straightening his elbow up to 23.5 degrees.
The comment sparked confusion and furore only to be later clarified by the ICC and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
However, Saqlain advised Ajmal to avoid discussion on his bowling action in order to stop any more controversies.
“Ajmal’s bowling action has been cleared by the ICC,” said Saqlain. “This is the bottom line and Ajmal should keep this fact in mind all the time.
“He must ignore discussions on his bowling action. Continuous discussion on it will affect his rhythm because he’ll be thinking about it all the time. The players should only focus on the game when giving statements rather that going into technicalities.”
Controversy is a conspiracy: Ashraf
Meanwhile, PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf has said the new debate on Ajmal’s bowling action was a conspiracy against the Pakistan team.
“Ajmal was trapped by the journalist and because he hasn’t got a command of English, he fell in the trap. This was a clever ploy following Pakistan’s thumping whitewash in the Test series.”
Impose media gags on players: Sallu
Meanwhile, former Test cricketer and chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed has called for a media gag on players in order to avoid controversies.
“The players should not be allowed to speak to the media,” said Ahmed. “Such controversies and confusion may happen again. The PCB should appoint a media manager of team who can speak to journalists on behalf of the players.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2012.