ICC suspends Saeed Ajmal over illegal bowling action

Published: September 9, 2014
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. PHOTO: AFP

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s ace off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has been suspended from international cricket after tests found his bowling action was illegal, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said Tuesday.

Ajmal, the world’s number one bowler in one-day internationals, was suspended “with immediate effect” following tests carried out by ICC’s accredited team in Brisbane last month.

The off-spinner’s bowling action was reported by match officials during Pakistan’s seven-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the first Test in Galle last month.

According to a press release on ICC’s website, the analysis revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.

Ajmal can apply a re-assessment after he has modified his bowling action in accordance with ICC rules.

While speaking to reporters in his home town of Faisalabad, Ajmal blamed his illegal action on a “not usual” elbow and vowed to return by next year’s World Cup.

The bowler dismissed the indefinite ban as “not an issue” and said he would appeal soon.

“My elbow is not usual so that’s why it seems that I bend it more than the normal 15 degrees allowed. We will go into appeal soon,” he said.

“I will be in action in the World Cup next year, that’s my resolve.”


Pakistani and international former cricketers have been weighing in their thoughts on the suspension.

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Reader Comments (65)

  • Sunil Gavaskar
    Sep 9, 2014 - 11:56AM

    ICC is after Pakistani cricket at the behest of India.Recommend

  • Baloch
    Sep 9, 2014 - 11:59AM

    ICC = Indian Cricket CouncilRecommend

  • Baloch
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:00PM

    If you can’t play them, ban them!Recommend

  • Flintoff
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:00PM

    Chucker & Cheat


  • zaid hamid
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:01PM

    BCCI involved.


  • Aalia
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:02PM

    Where was ICC sleeping for years and just woke up to find his action was illegal.


  • Professor
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:04PM

    Thank goodness for common sense. It was embarrassing to watch him bowl his doosras. Murali started it but he got away because he had a deformity in his elbow. Ajmal had no such excuse.


  • Abbas
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:08PM

    You have to be joking !!! isnt is very strange how this only happens to Pakistani bowlers


  • Rambo Bambo
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:08PM

    15 degrees you say. I wonder what degree is Malinga then. 180?Recommend

  • The Economist
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:12PM

    big blow to Pakistan and even shehzad, if banned for some matches than we should not be surprised.


  • NITS
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:28PM

    If he has to change his action, then he will become ineffective…

    I think pak now should pick Hafeez over him!


  • Pakhtoon
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:28PM

    Shame on Big 3 & ICC = Indian Cricket Council


  • Anon
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:30PM

    This is conspiracy…….they are jealous of our bowlers…our team members can do no wrong…..they will do everything except playing cricket.


    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:30PM

    Ajmal arm was more the 15 degree deviation. Right decision. We all love Ajmal as a PK player but ICC rules must be followed.

    Ajmal has still a chance to improve his action and come back. Good decision by ICC. ICC rules allow a maximum of 15 degree deviation. Ajmal was tested by BIO MECHANICAL experts.


    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:31PM

    Ajmal arm was OFF more than 15 degree deviation. Right decision. We all love Ajmal as a PK player but ICC rules must be followed.

    Ajmal has still a chance to improve his action and come back. Good decision by ICC. ICC rules allow a maximum of 15 degree deviation. Ajmal was tested by BIO MECHANICAL experts.


  • Mohammed
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:36PM

    For anybody that has watched him bowl, the only surprise is that he wasn’t banned earlier.


  • Usama
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:37PM

    Its an same ICC and Cricket Governing bodies who shied away from dhoni’s match fixing in IPL


  • NITS
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:43PM

    for all the conspiracy theroists: three fixers & muscial chair between zaka & sethi were also conspiried by the ICC ??? … wake up.. your cricket set-up is in shambles !!


  • Insider
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:44PM

    why not ban Ashwin, Sunil Narain, Johan Botha and Harbhajan too ? Simple. First because they are not muslims and second, they are not Pakistanis.


  • Indian
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:46PM

    Better late than never…


  • Indian
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:48PM

    Don’t blame it on BCCI or Indians.


  • Indian
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:50PM

    He chucked.He got banned.Move on.


  • Ammar
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:51PM

    Its been happening to us for last two world cups…. in 2007 Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif was banned due to the dope incident. Then in 2011 we lost Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif again.. and now this! could be a possible conspiracy. Why such things always happens just before the start of world cup???


  • Akram..
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:59PM

    So he was cheating all the while.. Wrong person to be in the no.1 spot.. Good decision for the game of cricket… Well done ICC.


    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:00PM

    This is due to an incompetent and bad bad domestic or club cricket.In India, Srilanka and Pakistan there are numerous such bowlers but there is no check and this is the result. I think ICC had been generous enough but the bowler took it for granted.Watching him bowl I always felt embarrassed.


  • Sep 9, 2014 - 1:02PM

    defintly bcci is involved in it they were sleeping all the time and came now to suspened him..


  • AK
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:06PM

    Keeping in view his age, most likely he will not be able come back in Pakistan cricket team.


  • Pity
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:12PM

    How come the ICC has ‘suddenly’ realized that Ajmal’s bolwing action is not right? Wait, I think i see ‘BCCI” in there somewhere…..


  • Fawwad H Karim
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:22PM

    This is not acceptable.

    ICC should review its decision.Recommend

  • Aditya
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:35PM

    Lol! Now that ICC caught Ajmal chucking, look at the Pakistanis here blaming BCCI and India. Typical Pakistani paranoia!


  • Arsalan
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:38PM

    it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt


  • Sep 9, 2014 - 1:41PM

    Hmm..Conspiracy by Israel??


  • Asim
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:42PM

    Absolutely correct decision. Ban them all who Chuck. There should not be any place for Chuckers in Cricket. ICC should also seriously look into the deliveries bowled by Murlitharan. Now is the time to give people like Zulfiqat Babar and Raza Hassan opportunities to shine. Ajmal if want to continue playing should consult Saqlain Mushtaq and learn how he used to bowl, after all Saqlain is the inventor of Doosra and was never called for illegal action. What Champion cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq was!!!


  • Feroz
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:51PM

    Not only Ajmal but Muralitharan was also a chucker — skillful chuckers unlike many others. ICC must go after all the chuckers by making testing mandatory for all those making their first class debut. One more test should be conducted before they are given their country cap. Will his chucking figures be obliterated from the books is the million Dollar question.


  • Sana
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:52PM

    Because new ICC Chairman is now Indian. Go figure


  • Ahmed
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:55PM

    Come on Pakistanis! We should all be thankful to the ICC for letting him play for so long! Why are you blaming the ICC for this too??

    Sorry but Ajmal was always a chucker. His action was always in doubt and questionable. ICC’s only fault is they let him play for so long.

    To my lovely fellow country men: Aamir and Asif are cheats and got what they deserved. Stop being the victim and embrace rules/regulations just like others do.

    Australia/England don’t encourage doosra bowlers since it will always violate ICC regulations so stop being the victim and follow rules and regulations.

    By the way, Pakistan can’t even a series in Sri Lanka, people seriously think we were a world cup contender and by banning Ajmal, Pakistan chances will go down?!?! You need batsmen to score runs also!!


  • Asad
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:00PM

    ICC is a joke!Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:00PM

    why was Saqlain never questioned? Why was Musthaq never questioned?? Because they were always 100% legal. Ajmal was always questionable so my dear countrymen stop crying foul like we always do! And accept rules and regulations like the rest of the world.

    The only problem I see is that ICC let him off for very long but not forever.


  • Cricketer
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:01PM

    Long sleeves, what he was hiding throughout. Everyone who understand cricket can see his arms rotation with angle more than 15 ..


  • Sheikh Arif
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:03PM

    There’s nothing wrong with Saeed Ajmal’s action. (B)ICCHad been itching to do something for their masters for long and Ahmed Shehzad’s Da’awa gave them the perfect excuse to take it out on Ajmal.


  • Ahmed
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:07PM

    By the way, those writing why us? why only Pakistani bowlers? go and read cricinfo.com and you will know what is really going on!! and how many have been banned recently or are under scrutiny. :)


  • Shamsher Singh Bajwa
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:12PM

    As usual our neighbors resort to blaming “India” for all of their problems.Recommend

  • Hatim
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:52PM

    One more reason to stop watching cricket.


  • Strategic Asset
    Sep 9, 2014 - 3:01PM

    @Ahmed: go and read cricinfo.com and you will know what is really going on!!

    So now Pakistanis trust a website which is mostly run out of Bangalore, India and whose editor is an Indian? By the way, I found nothing what you are suggesting on Cricinfo.


  • Humayun
    Sep 9, 2014 - 3:03PM

    feels discrimnatory-if he were Indian or white !!!


  • Sep 9, 2014 - 3:04PM

    PCB must have check and balance on bowlers action in domestic cricket.


  • Dilip
    Sep 9, 2014 - 3:10PM

    Ajmal was reported during the Sri Lanka tour! Where did India come into it?


  • riya
    Sep 9, 2014 - 3:17PM

    lol… lets c him cracking jokes about sachin now……………….


  • Zen
    Sep 9, 2014 - 3:24PM

    Pakistan has been a ‘crying river’ since its inception. Their sorry state of the country speaks volumes.


  • Ahmed
    Sep 9, 2014 - 3:25PM

    Another sad day for Pak cricket.


  • Sep 9, 2014 - 3:26PM

    @Shamsher Singh Bajwa:
    Its an old habit on both the sides. Lets try and kill the practice.


  • Little Indian Johnsons
    Sep 9, 2014 - 4:19PM

    This is bound to happen when India effectively took over the ICC.


  • Ahmed
    Sep 9, 2014 - 4:41PM

    @Strategic Asset:
    Genius, It is not a blog who editor may be biased. It is a website that will give you some numbers/facts!

    Do you keep in touch with cricket news at all? Or just rely on spicy conspiracy theories?

    Recently bowlers from West Windies, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh Sri Lanka have all been reported and/or banned. Please go and read before you enlighten us with your intellectual conspiracy theories.


  • Sep 9, 2014 - 4:43PM

    It is certainly a bog loss for the team. Ajmal is a match winner, but this is not the end, and I hope to see him back in the team soon.

    Ali Khan
    Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOM


  • Parvez
    Sep 9, 2014 - 4:46PM

    It was high time that we found new talent……this should speed up the process.


  • malik
    Sep 9, 2014 - 5:06PM

    It is things like these that radicalizes the Pakistani youth.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 9, 2014 - 5:16PM

    Ajmal is an honest player and a great fighter. He could have cheated in bowling test but he didn’t. I am sure he will come back.


  • A
    Sep 9, 2014 - 5:44PM

    BIG 3 vs Pakistan. They know they can’t beat Pakistan. So they started banning Pakistan players. Now, could PML (N), and PPP use their so called friendship with India to raise this issue as they have many “friends” in India.


  • Sam
    Sep 9, 2014 - 5:48PM

    I want to see comparisons of past and current report. Its very very strange that a top bowler is first reported and then banned. Big 3 is up to their tricks and this entire episode seems to be a well planned series of events. Ajmal is a champion and will prove all chumps wrong by come back hard.


  • PakCrickFan
    Sep 9, 2014 - 6:26PM

    Dear fellow Pakistanis, please calm down and stop blaming others. He was tested in Australia and video evidence does not lie. But this is not the end of the rope for Ajmal. He just has to adjust his action a little bit to bring it within the 15 degrees, or if he can prove his elbow abnormality then he will be back.


  • Cricket Lover
    Sep 9, 2014 - 9:32PM

    Sad day. Honestly, its good to see ICC cracking the whip. It doesn’t matter if a chucker is a Pakistani, Indian or of any other nationality. A chucker is a cheater and should be banned. Well done ICC.


  • Kraken
    Sep 10, 2014 - 9:09AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    I wonder if a truly “honest” cricketer would chuck in the first place.


  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Sep 10, 2014 - 11:33AM

    What will happen or what will go wrong if Saeed Ajmal will not play in Pakistan cricket team?Recommend

  • Sep 10, 2014 - 12:12PM

    If you can’t play him, ban him.


  • s.m.uzair
    Sep 11, 2014 - 6:42PM



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