Dubai: Star Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was today cleared to resume international cricket after his bowling action was found to be legal during a retest at an ICC-accredited facility in Chennai, a development which may open up a chance for him to play in the upcoming World Cup.
The ICC confirmed in a release that following remedial work and retests, the bowling actions of Ajmal and Sohag Gazi of Bangladesh have been found to be legal, and the players can now resume bowling in international cricket.
The 37-year-old Ajmal was suspended from bowling in international cricket last September for illegal bowling action.
He failed the first test conducted in Brisbane last year and then underwent a retest on January 24 at Sri Ramachandra University Sports Medicine Centre in Chennai where it was found that his bowling actions for all of his deliveries were within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the ICC rules.
"At the retests, it was revealed that the amount of elbow extensions in both the off-spinners' bowling actions for all their deliveries was within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the ICC regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions," the ICC said in the release.
"In advance of any retest, a player who has been banned from bowling in international cricket, is required to identify the various types of deliveries he wants assessed, with a view to bowling those types of deliveries in international cricket should they be tested as legal," it said.
Ajmal had opted out of the Pakistan team for the World Cup beginning February 14 in Australia and New Zealand because of suspect bowling action, but since he has been cleared it remains to be seen whether he can be included in the squad or not. A team can ask for a replacement for an injured player in the squad and an ICC Committee will take a call on that.
Ajmal was reported after the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in August last, while Gazi was also reported in August after the second One-Day International against the West Indies in Grenada.
Both Ajmal and Gazi failed the initial tests, which were performed on August 25 at National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, and on September 19 at the Cardiff Metropolitan University, respectively.
The ICC said that umpires were still at liberty to report Ajmal and Gazi in the future if they believe they are having suspect actions.
"To assist the umpires they have been provided with images and video footage of the two bowlers' significantly remodelled legal bowling actions," the ICC said.