Pakistan v Australia 2009 April 27, 2009

Ramiz and Boycott call for legalising doosra

Cricinfo staff

Ramiz Raja and Geoff Boycott have both urged the ICC to legalise the doosra. Their comments came after Saeed Ajmal, the Pakistan offspinner was reported by match officials for a suspect action while bowling the contentious delivery during the second ODI against Australia in Dubai on Friday.

The doosra is the offspinner's equivalent of the leg-break bowler's googly, in that the delivery turns in the opposite direction to a conventional ball.

"Why not legalise the art of doosra, which gives an offspinner variation in an otherwise flat one-sided spin?" Ramiz asked. "I see Saeed Ajmal's action being questioned as unacceptable. It adds to the repertoire of an offspinner, so I see it as an art."

Boycott - who like Ramiz is commentating on the ODI series - was also severely critical of the decision on Ajmal. "Muralitharan was cleared, so was Harbhajan, so why question a kid who has just come onto the scene?" he asked. "I think Ajmal has an art and he must execute it."

The umpires found enough cause for concern to report Ajmal's action, making him the second offspinner to be cited for a doosra in a fortnight after Johan Botha, the South African limited overs vice-captain, was reported following the fourth ODI against Australia in Port Elizabeth.

Ramiz also sought a relaxation of the ICC's laws to allow offspinners to bowl a doosra. "Why not relax the rules and give two to three degrees more to offspinners to bowl a doosra?"

The ICC rules allow a maximum limit of 15 degrees of flexion, which means no bowler can extend their elbow beyond that level.