New Delhi: Immediately after the news broke that International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal with immediate effect for his illegal bowling action, legendary off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq came out to support the top ranked ODI bowler.
The introducer of 'doosra', Saqlain took to micro-blogging site Twitter to offer a helping hand to one of the best spinners in contemporary cricket. He wrote: 'I would help and support Saeed Ajmal to the best of my ability if required.'
I will help and support saeed ajmal to the best of my ability if required
— Saqlain Mushtaq (@Saqlain_Mushtaq) September 9, 2014
The analysis of the 36-year-old's action revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.
Many other cricketers too tweeted on the action taken by the ICC on the number one ranked ODI bowler.
Former England batting talisman, Kevin Pietersen, expressed his solidarity and wished that Ajmal would soon be back.
Wow - Ajmal banned! Never nice to see fellow professionals going through a tough time...hopefully he's back soon!
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) September 9, 2014
Former Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore also looked sad on the strict action taken by the ICC and hope that Ajamal will make a comeback before the 2015 World Cup.
Sad to hear of Ajmal's ban... I can possibly understand the doosra but offbreaks? I hope he can correct his actions in time for CWC'15
— Dav Whatmore (@dfwhatmore) September 9, 2014
However South African opening batsman Quinton de Kock made a tongue-in-cheek remark on the social networking site about the decision on Ajmal. "Whether he chucks it or not, I'd like to see someone chuck it better than he does #SaeedAjmal" De Kock commented.
Incidentally, Ajmal has taken the highest number of wickets in international cricket across all formats in the past three years.
This was not the first time Ajmal's action came under scrutiny. In 2009, his debut year, he was reported for a suspect action but came out clean at the University of Western Australia in Perth.
With Agency inputs