Pakistan cricket September 10, 2014

The contenders to replace Ajmal

Following the bowling ban on Saeed Ajmal, ESPNcricinfo picks five bowlers Pakistan may replace him with for the time being

Raza Hasan, 22, left-arm spinner
He is young, shrewd and already has some Twenty20 international experience. Hasan was first noticed in 2010, when Pakistan picked him as a replacement for Danish Kaneria during their tour of England. He played T20 matches against Australia in the UAE and in the 2012 World T20 but his international career has stalled since then. He suffered a spine injury in 2012, which allowed another left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Barar to leapfrog him in the pecking order, and only recovered from it the following year. Hasan, however, is among the few spinners in Pakistan with a bright future.

Atif Maqbool, 32, offspinner
Among the top spinners in Pakistan at present, Maqbool had his bowling action assessed as a precautionary measure by the PCB in the wake of Ajmal's ban, and it is understood he will be cleared after minor rehabilitation. Maqbool was the top wicket-taker in the President's Trophy last year with 57 at 17.17 apiece. He has been on the domestic circuit since 2001 - 246 wickets at 26 apiece in 58 matches - but began to get noticed only in the previous two seasons.

Zulfiqar Babar, 35, left-arm spinner
He has played two Tests and seven T20 internationals since his debut in 2013 but has spent the majority of his time with the Pakistan squad on the bench. Given his age - Babar was 34 on debut - he might not be a long-term prospect but is an asset for the 2015 World Cup.

Adnan Rasool, 33, offspinner
He came closest to top-flight cricket in 2005-06, during Bob Woolmer's time as Pakistan coach, but fell behind because of a questionable action. Following some remedial work, Rasool continued playing first-class cricket and now has 142 wickets at an average of 25 in 40 matches. He took 22 wickets at 22.45 each during last season's President's Trophy and is presently in the Lahore Lions squad that will take part in the Champions League T20 in India.

Abdur Rehman, 34, left-arm spinner
He has suffered as Ajmal's support act over the last three years. Apart from the 2011-12 series win against England in the UAE, where Rehman and Ajmal took 43 wickets together, his opportunities to play have been inconsistent. Rehman has been overshadowed by Ajmal's burgeoning success and his present form might not be good enough to make him Pakistan's first-choice replacement.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

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