Pakistan news December 27, 2014

Ajmal pulls out of World Cup squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Saeed Ajmal has withdrawn himself from the Pakistan World Cup squad as his remodeled bowling action needs further remedial work before it can be officially retested*.

"Ajmal withdrew himself," Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman, was quoted as saying by Reuters. "We didn't want to take a risk with Ajmal's career because latest reports suggested his elbow extension was not still within the 15 degrees allowed by the ICC despite all the remedial work on his action.

"We were aware that if he took the official ICC test in a bid to make the World Cup squad and failed it he could be suspended from playing for one to two years and that would mean the end of his career."

Ajmal had been included in Pakistan's 30-member provisional squad for the World Cup subject to him clearing his action. The final 15-man squads for the World Cup have to be announced by January 7.

Ajmal will continue to work with former Pakistan offspinner Saqlain Mushtaq in Lahore, while Mohammad Hafeez will have his action unofficially tested in Chennai next week.

"The PCB committee discussed the future course of action to be adopted with regard to Ajmal and Hafeez and agreed that in the case of Ajmal, further remedial work should continue in collaboration with Saqlain and a bio-mechanist in Lahore," the PCB said. "The group was informed that significant progress had been made by Ajmal who is now working on completing his mileage with the remodelled action which shall soon be accomplished.

"It was noted that Saqlain and Mushtaq Ahmed (Pakistan spin bowling coach) have both worked with Hafeez and his action should now be unofficially tested in Chennai next week."

Ajmal was banned from bowling in international cricket in September due to an illegal action. An unofficial test at the Loughborough University found Ajmal's action for his stock delivery, the offspinner, as well his faster balls to be legal. His action for the doosra, though, was still not below the permissible 15-degree limit.

Ajmal had initially been set for an official test before the ICC on December 8, but it was postponed by the PCB. The board's illegal bowling committee was keen that Ajmal play some competitive cricket first to get used to his remodelled action. Ajmal played a couple of one-dayers this month for Pakistan A against Kenya in Lahore.

Hafeez's action was found to be illegal earlier this month. He played as a specialist batsman in the ODI series against New Zealand in the UAE.

December 27, 2014 15:50 GMT: This piece was updated with the news of Saeed Ajmal's withdrawal and Shaharyar Khan's quotes

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