Very few people have seen subcontinent cricket as closely as former India coach John Wright. And it was during the fag end of his stint, in March 2005, that Harbhajan Singh was reported for a suspected action while bowling his doosra. Singh’s action had been cleared by biomechanists just a month earlier. Then, Wright had come out in full support of Harbhajan.
Now coach of the Mumbai Indians, whose spin attack is also led by Harbhajan, Wright chose to label the recent ban on Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal as ‘interesting’.
"It’s interesting. Some of these issues are being tackled now. It’ll be interesting to see what happens from here, and the direction and the policy of the ICC in that matter," said Wright when asked how the problem could be nipped in the bud.
"I think we will know more about that in the next three or four months, but it seems (Kane) Williamson was also in that situation. It looks from far off that this part of the game is coming under scrutiny,” said Wright, who during the 2005 crisis had actually told Harbhajan to continue bowling the doosra.
But Wright agreed it will be tough for Pakistan to deal with this ban.
“It’s tough on a player, any such issue is a challenge and you’ve got to get through. And I’m sure the Pakistan coaching set up will work with the player. It’s a part of the game,” he said.
Pakistan mainstay Mohammed Hafeez, who is currently in India with the Lahore Lions for the Champiosn League Twenty20, said it’s almost impossible to find Ajmal’s replacement with just a few months to go for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“We have some options but how can you replace someone like Ajmal? He is the No 1 bowler in the world, and has been handling the pressure of leading our bowling for five years now,” said Hafeez.