Grayson questions umpires on Ajmal
Paul Grayson, the Essex head coach, said English umpires should have called Saeed Ajmal for chucking this season.
Ajmal played a key role in helping Worcestershire to promotion in the County Championship but Grayson said his Essex side would have won promotion instead if umpires had been brave enough to report Ajmal.
In nine Championship matches this season, Ajmal's action was not officially questioned and he helped Worcestershire to five victories and four draws with key performances that saw his side top the Division Two table for most of the season, much to the surprise of most observers.
But on international duty for Pakistan, Ajmal's action was reported almost immediately on their tour of Sri Lanka and he was subsequently banned from bowling by the ICC.
"I wish one of our English umpires had the bravery to call him early season," Grayson said, having seen his side fall eight points short of second-placed Worcestershire. "He's been called for chucking; it's illegal.
"Speaking to a lot of umpires on the circuit, they all talk about him chucking it, but whether they had that support from the ECB; I'm not sure why they weren't prepared to call him."
It was thought Ajmal would merely prop up Worcestershire who were largely expected to struggle in the Championship last season. But instead his 63 wickets 16.47 saw Worcestershire only miss out on the Division Two title during the final round of the season.
"I've no doubt that if Worcestershire didn't have Ajmal, we would have gone up this year," Grayson told BBC Essex. "They've struggled in the second half of the season when he was supposed to be away with Pakistan.
"I don't want to sound like we're being bitter, but I do believe we should have gone up this year."
2014 was the second year in succession Essex have finished third in the table having entered the final round of matches with a chance of promotion. It consigned them to a fifth year in Division Two having been relegated in 2010.
Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes subsequently said the club would welcome back Ajmal to New Road next season if he is cleared to bowl again by the ICC.