Karachi, Dec 27: Saeed Ajmal's dreams of playing next year's World Cup are all but dashed as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given up on him to be ready with remodelled action in time for International Cricket Council (ICC) test.
The PCB after a high level meeting today agreed that Ajmal still needs more time to work on correcting his bowling action in order to pass the official ICC bowling action test. (Ajmal banned from bowling)
But it confirmed that all-rounder, Mohammad Hafeez would fly to Chennai next week for an informal test and if that was cleared, he would then be sent for the ICC official test to enable him to bowl in the World Cup.
The PCB decision comes after a lot of delay in taking a decision by the PCB which gave every facility to the off-spinner to correct his bowling action since he was suspended from bowling in international cricket in September by the ICC.
The PCB said it had taken a decision on Ajmal based on reports from Pakistan's former Test spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and the national team bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed and the head coach of the national cricket academy.
"In the case of Ajmal, further remedial work should continue in collaboration with Saqlain and a bio mechanist in Lahore. The PCB was informed that significant progress had been made by Ajmal who is now working on completing his 'mileage' with the remodelled action which shall soon be accomplished.
"The PCB fully supports Ajmal in his attempt to regularise his action and to return to cricket as Pakistans top performer in the future," the PCB said in its statement.
"It was noted that Saqlain and Mushtaq Ahmed have both worked with Hafeez and his action should now be tested in an ICC accredited lab. "Therefore Hafeez is being sent to Chennai next week for an unofficial testing of his bowling action," the statement said.
Big blow to Pakistan's chances
The ruling out of Ajmal from the World Cup is a big blow to Pakistan's chances of doing well in the event as he has been the team's leading wicket-taker in all formats for the last few years.
An indication of what was to come came on Friday when Shaharyar Khan told reporters that Ajmal's bowling action had still not improved enough to be within the 15 degrees limit set by the ICC for bowlers to extend their elbows. Ajmal also said that the board would leave the decision of taking the official ICC test to Ajmal himself.
"The biggest issue for us is that if he takes the ICC official test and fails it before the World Cup than he can be suspended from playing for one to two years and that would mean the end of his career," Khan had said.