ICC news February 7, 2015

Ajmal and Gazi cleared to bowl again

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal and Bangladesh's Sohag Gazi can resume bowling in international cricket, after the ICC cleared their bowling actions following remedial work and retests.

Ajmal had withdrawn from the World Cup in December to avoid taking "a risk with his career" and he can now be included in Pakistan's squad only if a player gets injured. Pakistan had recently replaced the injured Junaid Khan with Rahat Ali only two days ago.

At the retests, it was revealed that the amount of elbow extensions in both the offspinners' 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.

However, the umpires are still at liberty to report Ajmal or Gazi in the future if they believe they are displaying a suspect action and not reproducing the legal actions from the retests. Umpires have been provided with images and video footage of the bowlers' significantly remodeled legal bowling actions.

Their retests were held at the Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai on January 24.

Ajmal was suspended from bowling in September after his action was deemed to be illegal for all deliveries. Before he was banned, tests revealed his elbow extension was going up to 42 degrees on average, leading to his suspension. He underwent extensive remedial work on his action with former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. Ajmal went through three unofficial Tests that showed his offspinner and faster ball were within the legitimate 15-degree limit, though his doosra was still beyond the limit.

Gazi was reported for a suspect action in Bangladesh's second ODI against West Indies in August last year and was suspended from bowling in October after he was tested in Cardiff. He had been working towards a remedy with Bangladesh spin coach Ruwan Kalpage, under whose supervision he had bowled in the nets during the Zimbabwe series.

Gazi had not been included in Bangladesh's 15-man squad for the World Cup.

Ajmal credited former Pakistan offspinner Saqlain Mushtaq and Dr Paul Hurrion for their work on his remodelled bowling action. He said that he would play the World Cup if the side required his services.

"I actually think I can be even more effective now as a bowler as I have added a couple of new deliveries to my repertoire which are the carrom ball and a seam-up delivery, without losing any of my existing deliveries," he told Pakpassion.net. "I'm happy with the changes to my action and this period away from cricket has given me the opportunity to re-assess my bowling and to make some improvements and necessary changes.

"This has been a tough time for me and my family. Never mind thinking about playing in a World Cup, there have been times of late that I was ready to quit cricket altogether as I was feeling so low and dejected. You start doubting yourself and you start doubting whether you will play cricket ever again.

"Mentally at times I was drained and it was good to have the support of friends and family around me. As a cricketer I just want to play cricket, to entertain and to do my best for whichever team I am playing for. If my country needs me, then I will play in the World Cup. If I am not required, then I will watch the matches on television and wish the team all the best and hope they can lift the trophy."

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