Ajmal questions ICC’s testing procedures for bowlers
Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal criticised International Cricket Council’s (ICC) testing procedures to check the legality of bowling actions saying that the world body cannot prove the accuracy of the equipment.
When asked if he thinks the ICC’s testing procedures for bowling actions are fully accurate, Ajmal said, “No, I don’t think they are. Careers are at stake here and these things need to be tested thoroughly before bowlers are banned. Can the ICC say that their testing procedures are absolutely accurate? No, they cannot. Therefore, the careers of bowlers are being jeopardised by equipment that is not totally accurate.”
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Ajmal further said if ICC can prove the efficiency of the equipment, he will be satisfied. “If the ICC can prove to me that their testing procedures and equipment is 100% accurate, then I will be satisfied, but as things stand, bowlers are being banned by a testing procedure that is not entirely accurate.”
The off-spin maestro, who had to remodel his action after he was penalised for bowling with an illegal action, said modern day cricket is shooing spinners away from the game.
“Modern day cricket has become a game that has been designed for batsmen,” said Ajmal. “Spinners are penalised for their bowling actions but look at the size of cricket bats these days, they are like tree trunks. Also look at the power-play rules and the relevant field-settings. Fast bowlers have been given two bouncers an over, but what concessions have the spinners been given? I’ll tell you what they’ve been given, nothing apart from more suspicion and scrutiny.”
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The 38-year-old added that only some bowlers are being monitored closely while others have been given leeway.
“The art of off-spin is dying; the number of off-spinners around the world is dwindling and even some of those have dodgy actions,” he said. “I feel that as a Pakistani I am scrutinised more than bowlers from other countries. Everyone can see that some bowlers are getting away with their actions, but others are monitored closely and banned. It seems to me that the actions of bowlers from Pakistan and Bangladesh are watched more closely than other countries by the ICC.”
Ajmal further criticised the ICC for not reporting the action of a few bowlers whose action is not within the legal boundaries but they are not reported for suspect action.
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“There are several bowlers out there whose actions are not clean but they never get reported,” said Ajmal. “I cannot name them of course but it’s obvious who I am referring to. I have video proof that the bowling actions of some bowlers are not legal but they have never been reported. What hurts me is that I was suddenly banned after seven years of playing international cricket and no consideration was given for my unusual action due to an accident I was involved in.”