Pakistan coach says Ajmal's selection 'no risk'
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam on Thursday defended Saeed Ajmal's selection for next month's Twenty20 World Cup despite the offspinner being reported for a suspect bowling action.cricket Updated: May 07, 2009 16:25 IST
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam on Thursday defended Saeed Ajmal's selection for next month's Twenty20 World Cup despite the offspinner being reported for a suspect bowling action.
Match officials reported Ajmal for a suspected illegal bowling action after Pakistan's second one-day against Australia in Dubai on April 24.
Ajmal will now have to undergo a biomechanical assessment of his action, at an International Cricket Council-approved facility, before the Twenty20 starts in England on June 5.
However, "Ajmal's selection for the World Twenty20 is not a risk," Alam told AFP.
"We will send him to either Australia and England for the assessment in the next couple of days and hope he will be cleared," he said.
The 31-year-old was reported for his "doosra," a delivery equivalent to a leg-spinner's googly, which turns in the opposite direction to an off-spin.
Ajmal's form has slipped since he was cited, and he took just one wicket in the three remaining matches of the one-day series, which Australia won 3-2.
But Alam said Ajmal had bowled well, albeit without much success.
"Ajmal has not been under pressure," said Alam, himself a leg-spinner in his playing days. "He did not take very many wickets but he bowled well and could still play a match-winning part in the World Twenty20."
In any case, Alam said, if Ajmal was not cleared by the biomechanical assessment, he could still be replaced.
"Under the ICC process, we can replace Ajmal if, God forbid, he is not cleared but I am sure that he will play in the World Twenty20," said Alam.
Alam said he believed spinners could play a crucial role the shortest version of the game.
"There has been a conception about spinners not being useful in Twenty20 matches but it has been proved wrong in recent matches, where spinners have taken wickets besides being economical.
"So, Ajmal can be a match-winner," Alam said.
Pakistan is placed in Group C of the World Twenty20 event, along with England and the Netherlands.