Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Saeed Set For First Competitive Bowl Since Remodelling Action

Saeed Set For First Competitive Bowl Since Remodelling Action

Saeed Ajmal is set to have his first competitive bowl since being banned from international cricket by the ICC because of the illegality of his action.

The Pakistan spinner, who took 63 wickets for Worcestershire in the LV County Championship last season, has been included in his country's 'A' team for two matches against Kenya in Lahore – the first of which takes place tomorrow in the Gaddafi Stadium and the second on Saturday.

The Kenya games do not hold international status so Ajmal is allowed to participate in them – plus any domestic cricket.

Ajmal was banned by the ICC after his action was reported during the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test in Galle in August.

He has been remodelling his action, working with former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, and has undergone two unofficial tests at an ICC biomechanics centre at Loughborough University.

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes has already indicated he wants to re-sign Ajmal for the 2015 season if he passes an official ICC test on his new action.

The 37-year-old had initially been set to undergo an official ICC test on December 8, but it was subsequently postponed by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

They are keen for Ajmal to play competitive cricket to get used to his remodelled action before having a official ICC assessment – hence his inclusion in the 'A' team squad.

Ajmal has also been playing club cricket in Faisalabad since returning from working with Saqlain in England.

He is desperate to obtain clearance to play in the 2015 World Cup and has been named in Pakistan's initial squad of 30.

The last date for the submission of the 15 strong squad for the World Cup and any official ICC test will have to take place before that cut-off point.

Pakistan selection committee member Shoaib Muhammad said: "Since matches are aired live, this game will provide a good opportunity for Ajmal to test out his action and the selectors and even the ICC can assess it.

"The selectors feel that the last two games against Kenya will provide an ideal opportunity to ascertain the legality of his new action."