Ajmal skips domestic cricket to work on action
Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal has pulled out of the National Twenty20 domestic competition with Faisalabad Wolves, instead focusing on remedial work on his action at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore. Earlier this week, the ICC banned Ajmal from bowling in international cricket due to an illegal action, though he is allowed to bowl in domestic cricket.
"He is going to engage in a rehabilitation program starting from Monday," a PCB spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "Although there is no bar on him playing domestic cricket, his name has been withdrawn from the side as he is going to undergo remedial work on his bowling action with the help of Saqlain Mushtaq, who is expected to join on September 22."
Faisalabad Wolves' interim selection committee named Ajmal in their T20 squad, but the PCB asked the team to reconsider their decision, and asked Ajmal to report at the NCA on Monday. A five-member Illegal Bowling Action Committee is currently underway to chalk out a program for the remedial work on his bowling action.
The PCB was initially considering appealing the decision against Ajmal, but later backed down and chose to reassess the offspinner's action. Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain has already committed to helping Ajmal.
As the remedial work will be carried out without the help of bio-mechanics, there are suggestions that once the remodeling is done, the PCB may send Ajmal for an unofficial assessment in a reputed laboratory before applying to the ICC for reassessment. ICC regulations state that any player suspended from bowling in international cricket "may at any time apply" to the ICC for reassessment of their bowling action.
The NCA procured bio-mechanical equipment worth Rs 44 million ($460,000) in 2007, but it has largely been unused. It is understood that the PCB is set to launch a project in the next six months.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson