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‘They don’t care if a Pakistan bowler will get banned’ – Saeed Ajmal questions ICC for not coming down on Ashwin’s bowling action

Saeed Ajmal
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Saeed Ajmal, who has been banned multiple times by ICC for his bowling action, has alleged that Ravichandran Ashwin avoided being punished despite similar issues.

Ajmal, who had prolific returns in the early years of his international career, went through a rough second half after being called for chucking by the ICC.

The Pakistan spinner was reported for the illegal bend in his elbow twice in his career. After being called for chucking during the 2008 Asia Cup, Ajmal took remedial action and cleared the tests soon after and resumed bowling to have a fruitful few years.

The second time around, in 2014, landed a telling blow for Ajmal as he was banned from bowling in all international cricket by the ICC in 2015. He changed his action to return later that year, but was never as effective a bowler. Ajmal retired two years later, but has now claimed that the ICC was harsh on him while being lenient to Ashwin.

“You changed all these rules and regulations without asking anyone,” Ajmal told Cricwick. “I was playing cricket for the last eight years. All those rules were for me. That’s it. During that period, Ashwin was out from cricket for six months. Why is that? So you can work on him and your bowler doesn’t get banned. They don’t care if a Pakistan bowler gets banned. They only care about money.”

This isn’t the first time Ajmal has lashed out at the governing body. Last year, in a YouTube video, he suggested that the ICC had made him a scapegoat.

“The test in 2009 and 2014 was the same but the only difference was they had removed the medical conditions which they considered in 2009,” he said. “When Muralitharan left cricket then ICC thought there is this guy Saeed Ajmal and he is from Pakistan and they can’t do anything against our decision.”

There have been suggestions that Ajmal is confused about the differences between his two tests. According to ESPNcricinfo, Ajmal was allowed to continue bowling in 2009 because his elbow only straightened by eight degrees, despite having a 23.5 degree bend in his elbow when bowling. In 2014, it was found that all his deliveries exceeded the allowed maximum of straightening, which is 15 degrees. He was one of at least six bowlers cited around 2014.

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