Confident that Bilal Asif's action will be cleared: Intikhab Alam

Confident of Bilal Asif's suspect action being cleared in the upcoming assessment test, Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam has not ruled out the possibility of including the off-spinning all-rounder in the Test squad for the remaining two cricket matches against England in UAE.

Confident that Bilal Asif's action will be cleared: Intikhab Alam

Karachi: Confident of Bilal Asif's suspect action being cleared in the upcoming assessment test, Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam has not ruled out the possibility of including the off-spinning all-rounder in the Test squad for the remaining two cricket matches against England in UAE.

Asif was reported for a suspicious bowling action by match officials after taking five wickets in the one-day international against Zimbabwe on October 5 in Harare.

He is now slated to fly to Chennai on Sunday and appear in a bowling assessment test at the ICC accredited bio-mechanic laboratory the next day.

Intikhab said he had closely watched the videos of Bilal's bowling action and also spoken to ICC officials about it.

"I am 99.9 percent confident that Bilal Asif's bowling action will be cleared in the bowling assessment Test," Alam said on Geo Super channel.

"From what we have seen he doesn't appear to bend his elbow and infact uses his wrist more with a straight arm to get purchase from the ball," Alam said.

To a question the former Pakistan captain also said that Bilal's bowling action didn't appear to have the same issues that plagued Saeed Ajmal and Muhammad Hafeez.

Intikhab Alam made it clear that for the ongoing test series against England there was a need to have a backup third spinner in the squad.

"We need a third proper spinner in the side and after the first test we will be talking about it," he said.

Asked if Bilal could be considered as the third spinner for the Tests, Intikhab replied in the affirmative.

"If he clears his test why not. They are some left handers in the England side and Bilal impressed in the one-day series in Zimbabwe," he said.

The Pakistan team suffered a major setback before the first test in Abu Dhabi when their inform leg spinner Yasir Shah was ruled out of the match with a back spasm.

And although he has recovered well enough and could be available for the remaining tests but Intikhab felt a third spinner was needed in the side.

"Looking at the conditions and weather here the option of playing three spinners and one seamer cannot be discounted," he added.

Left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar was slated to join the team as reinforcement after the injury to Yasir but he couldn't make it on time due to visa issues and a strange occurrence where he was said to have gone to sleep as PCB officials kept contacting him to hand over his travel documents. 

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