Pakistan news November 7, 2014

Ajmal to undergo unofficial testing

Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan's suspended offspinner, will undergo unofficial testing on his remodelled bowling action at Loughborough University on Monday. Based on results from his unofficial testing, the PCB intends to apply to the ICC for an official reassessment ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

Over the last one month Ajmal has been working on his action at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, under the supervision of former Pakistan offspinner Saqlain Mushtaq. Ajmal is reckoned to have significantly reduced the flex in his elbow, though any change is yet to be measured since he has been working without the aid of a biomechanics lab at the NCA.

Ajmal will depart for England on November 8, and will undergo testing by Dr. Mark King, a member of the ICC Panel of Human Movement Specialists, on November 10 at Loughborough, the ICC's latest accredited unit for testing illegal bowling actions.

"I have made some changes to my action and I am comfortable with the new action," Ajmal said at the NCA on Thursday. "I am also confident whenever I am back I will be as effective as before. I have already undergone some informal tests under the supervision of our experts so I am going to England confident of clearing the tests."

Ajmal, who turned 37 last month, was suspended from bowling in international cricket by the ICC in September. He was reported after the first Test of Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka in Galle this August. Subsequent testing of his action at an ICC-accredited facility in Brisbane found his average elbow extension to be more than twice the permissible limit.

In Ajmal's absence Pakistan brought in left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and legspinner Yasir Shah, who took 14 and 12 wickets respectively during Pakistan's 2-0 Test series win over Australia in the UAE. Australia though remained unbeaten in the limited-overs leg of the tour.

"There was never a sense of competition with them and I am happy for the newcomers for their performances recently," Ajmal said. "I never felt any insecurity with the presence of any spinner in the Pakistan domestic circuit as everyone who does the hand work reaps the fruit.

"I was probably the first one who during my playing days pointed out many potential spinners like Adnan Rasool. So there was never any competition. The important thing is victory of Pakistan and whoever plays it's the performance that matters. Sadly I wasn't part of Pakistan team that beat Australia and I do miss playing for Pakistan but it's all about destiny."

Saqlain, whose one-month contract ended on October 24, sees a realistic chance of Ajmal clearing the test. But in case Ajmal fails next week's unofficial test in Loughborough, PCB intend to re-hire Saqlain to assist Ajmal in England with the help of biomechanics facilities.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

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