Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Rhodes Hopeful Ajmal Will Return To New Road If He Passes Icc Test

Rhodes Hopeful Ajmal Will Return To New Road If He Passes Icc Test

Steve Rhodes is hoping "everything will be straightforward" and Saeed Ajmal can return to Worcestershire for part of the 2015 season if his remodelled action secures ICC approval.

Director of Cricket Rhodes said that there were ongoing negotiations but that both sides "in principle were happy with where we are at" in terms of Ajmal being able to undertake a third spell at New Road during 2015.

Any possible agreement would also be subject to obtaining a No Objection Certificate from the Pakistan Cricket Board.

A PCB spokesman confirmed today that the PCB have applied to the ICC for Ajmal to be officially tested and they have been given a provisional date of January 24.

Rhodes has been hugely supportive of Ajmal who has worked tirelessly and bowled hundreds and hundreds of practice overs with his new action after he was banned by the ICC from September.

The 37-year-old spinner took 63 wickets in nine LV Championship matches for Worcestershire last season.

Rhodes said: "That (the ICC test) is D-Day and hopefully we will find out as quick as we can the results of that because if Saeed fails it, then we will have to move fast on something else.

"If he passes it, then happy days. Hopefully everything will be straightforward and he will be a Worcestershire player again.

"If he passes his test, that means his action is fine and if his action is fine, he can bowl and hopefully take plenty of wickets once again for Worcestershire.

"Until the contract is signed, there is always ongoing negotiations but in principle we're both happy with where we are at, his side of things, his manager and Saeed, and our side of things.

"The other side of things is the Pakistan Cricket Board because they've got to issue a No Objection Certificate but we are told by his agent, that is looking good as well.

"I think if he does pass his test, then I think we are pretty much all organised."

Rhodes believes Ajmal will still pose a potent threat to batsmen with his new action.

He said: "Of course, there is an element of doubt because he has had to have a change of action.

"But he is a really determined character and a feisty competitor on the field who loves taking wickets and he loves the challenge of batter versus bowler.

"All those things hold him in good stead for performing well even though he has had a change of action.

"I feel confident his potency as a bowler will be good."