KARACHI: Top-ranked Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was Tuesday suspended indefinitely from international cricket for an illegal bowling action but vowed to return in time for next year’s World Cup.
The world’s leading one-day international bowler blamed the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruling on his “not usual” right elbow and said he would appeal.
Ajmal, speaking to reporters in his home city of Faisalabad shortly after the announcement, shrugged off the ICC announcement as “not an issue.”
But the ban could cause serious problems for Pakistan, firstly in their upcoming series with Australia and also in the World Cup, which they won in 1992.
It comes as part of an ICC crackdown on illegal bowling actions — where the arm is bent more than 15 degrees — in international cricket.
“My elbow is not usual, so that’s why it seems that I bend it more than normal 15 degree allowed,” said Ajmal, who was cleared on medical grounds when his action was first reported in 2009.
“We will go into appeal soon… I will be in action in the World Cup next year, that’s my resolve,” he added — though the Pakistan Cricket Board later said it has yet to decide whether to appeal.
The ICC said Ajmal, 36, had been suspended with immediate effect following tests by specialists at Australia’s National Cricket Center in Brisbane.
Ajmal was reported for a suspect action after last month’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. He can apply for a reassessment once he has modified his action.
“The analysis revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations,” the ICC said in a statement.