Dubai, Feb 7: With just one week to go for ICC World Cup 2015, Pakistan's offspinner Saeed Ajmal has been cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to resume bowling at the highest level. However, Ajmal is not part of Pakistan's 15-man squad for the World Cup.
ICC said on Saturday that Ajmal's bowling action is found to be legal following remedial work and retests. Also returning to bowling is Bangladesh's Sohag Gazi. Both bowlers were banned from bowling at international cricket due to illegal actions. Ajmal was suspended in September last year.
"The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed that following remedial work and retests, the bowling actions of Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal and Sohag Gazi of Bangladesh had been found to be legal, and the players can now resume bowling in international cricket," ICC said today.
"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.
"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," ICC added.
Umpires can still report Ajmal
However, the umpires can still report Ajmal and Gazi if they find their bowling actions illegal. "The umpires are still at liberty to report Saeed Ajmal and Sohag Gazi in the future if they believe they are displaying a suspect action and not reproducing the legal actions from the retests," ICC clarified.
To assist the umpires they have been provided with images and video footage of the two bowlers' significantly remodeled legal bowling actions. The retests were performed at the Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai on 24 January.
Saeed Ajmal was reported after the first Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle in August, while Sohag Gazi was also reported in August after the second One-Day International against West Indies in Grenada.
Both Ajmal and Gazi failed the initial tests, which were performed on 25 August at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, and on 19 September at the Cardiff Metropolitan University, respectively.
Ajmal can return to Pakistan squad for World Cup as replacement to an injured player. Injured paceman Junaid Khan was replaced by Rahat Ali two days ago. Ajmal is currently the number 1 ODI bowler in ICC Rankings.