Only Mohammad Hafeez to go to India for unofficial testing

  • AP, Islamabad
  • Updated: Jan 15, 2015 12:31 IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided on Saturday to send only one of its two suspended off-spinners, Mohammad Hafeez, to India next week for unofficial testing of his bowling action, while Saeed Ajmal will stay in Pakistan.

Former Test spinners Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed, who have worked with Hafeez, agreed that the off-spinner should now be tested at an ICC-accredited laboratory in Chennai, before going to the world's governing body for official testing.

Ajmal will continue to work on his remodelled bowling action with Saqlain and a bio-mechanist at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Ajmal was suspended in September by the ICC while Hafeez was banned from bowling in international cricket earlier this month after his action was found to be illegal during the first Test against New Zealand.

Time is fast running out for Ajmal to get into Pakistan's World Cup squad which is due to be named by January 7. The PCB believes the off-spinner needs more time to bowl within the allowed elbow extension of 15 degrees.

Ajmal has been unofficially tested three times at the ICC-accredited laboratory at Loughborough University in England since being suspended, but is yet to bowl within the allowed parameters.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Friday that if the 37-year-old Ajmal undergoes official ICC testing - and his bowling action is found illegal - the off-spinner faces a ban of two years, which means the end of his international career.

"The PCB fully supports Ajmal in his attempt to regularise his action and to return to cricket as Pakistan's top performer in the future," the board said in a statement on Saturday.

The PCB also announced that Naveed Akram Cheema has been recalled as team manager for the World Cup. He will replace Moin Khan, who had been both team manager and chief selector, and will still accompany the team to Australia and New Zealand.

Pakistan's players underwent fitness tests on Saturday, though injured captain Misbah-ul-Haq, fast bowler Junaid Khan and middle-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood did not participate.

Misbah is yet to recover from a hamstring injury while Junaid is nursing a knee injury and Maqsood has a fracture of a small bone in his left wrist.

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