Suspect bowling action? Doosra ordeal for Ajmal

Published: August 12, 2014
After being scrutinised earlier in his career, spinner Saeed Ajmal will appear once more to validate his bowling action. PHOTO: AFP

After being scrutinised earlier in his career, spinner Saeed Ajmal will appear once more to validate his bowling action. PHOTO: AFP


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has put faith in the International Cricket Council (ICC) to decide ace off-spinner Saeed Ajmal’s fate after he was reported for a suspect bowling action following the conclusion of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

This is the second time Ajmal has been reported for an illegal action – previously cleared in 2009 by the University of Western Australia after undergoing testing procedures.

According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the match officials’ report, which was handed over to Pakistan team manager Moin Khan on Sunday, a number of deliveries by Ajmal that were considered to be suspect and hence needed testing.

“Ajmal’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC process relating to suspected illegal bowling actions reported in Tests, ODIs and T20Is,” read the ICC press release.

“He is required to undergo testing within 21 days, and, during this period, Ajmal is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known.”

The ICC process commenced after match officials Bruce Oxenford and Ian Gould (on-field umpires), Richard Illingworth (3rd umpire) and match referee Andy Pycroft, reported their doubts about the legality of Ajmal’s bowling in Galle.

PCB, Moin to adopt wait-and-see policy

According to ESPNcricinfo, Moin expressed his surprise at the call made by the match officials.

“We were informed by the ICC and it came up as a surprise,” said Moin, while confirming that Ajmal is set to play in Colombo.

Meanwhile, the PCB has stated that once such a report has been made, the ICC rules take over and the entire process is controlled and regulated by the governing body.

“The PCB has no choice but to wait for the outcome of the process before proceeding further in the matter,” said the PCB statement.

Recently, Ajmal was involved in a controversy during his stint playing county cricket in the UK, with England fast-bowler Stuart Broad questioning the legality of his actions on social media. Ajmal and the PCB subsequently asked for an explanation regarding comments from both the player and the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

It should be mentioned here that before the accusation on Ajmal, Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson have been reported and banned from bowling due to similar reasons.

Ajmal had to bowl long spells in the first innings of the Galle Test, which Pakistan lost by seven wickets; the off-spinner delivered 59.1 overs and captured five wickets in the process.

Saqlain hopes for clearance

Former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq thinks that the legality of a bowling action is a technical matter which must be gauged through correct procedures.

“I didn’t watch the match so I’m not in any position to explain what happened clearly,” Saqlain told The Express Tribune. 

“But there are different circumstances that come to the fore when these things come up. Sometimes if a bowler is getting tired by bowling too much, they often try to compensate by using other muscles which results in throwing.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Ricky
    Aug 12, 2014 - 3:10AM

    As soon as he is called for his action his effectiveness is gone!


  • Sfax
    Aug 12, 2014 - 9:07AM

    but why he wears full sleeves always?


  • NITS
    Aug 12, 2014 - 9:21AM

    he is no angel… and this time he will be handed over a ban… impossible for him to escape!


  • Ali
    Aug 12, 2014 - 9:58AM

    Simple rule: If someone threatens your dominance, accuse him and get him under pressure forever. They did it to Muralitharan as well, and SL decided to walk out of the stadium.


  • salman
    Aug 12, 2014 - 10:28AM

    Doosra is nearly impossible to bowl without bending your arm a bit and i think this kind of variety is great innovation in today’s batting dominated cricket so ICC needs to soften up their stance regarding this delivery else just like fast bowling, off spinning will also meets its demise


  • tea
    Aug 12, 2014 - 11:05AM

    Murali was cleared after extensive testing. Will Ajmal be cleared? Only time will tell.


  • WhyAjmal
    Aug 12, 2014 - 1:13PM

    The match officials who reported Ajmal’s suspect action:

    Bruce Oxenford
    Ian Gould
    Richard Illingworth
    Andy Pycroft

    One would surely like to know what is their previous similar reporting history. Any reader who can provide that information?


  • Ban Ajmal
    Aug 12, 2014 - 1:51PM

    If found against rules of the game then he should be definately banned..


  • Asim
    Aug 12, 2014 - 6:37PM

    5 reports in 10 months. Ian Gould involved in everyone of them.


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