Risking his career: Ajmal feels ‘BoGed’ down

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 12:22:31 by


Suspended off-spinner Saeed Ajmal is trying his best to convince the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to let him appear for an official International Cricket Council (ICC) bowling test at the Loughborough University in England without coming back to Pakistan to compete in a domestic competition.

PCB’s top-brass and governing board unanimously decided in a recently held meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) that Ajmal will be called back – a point that also appears in the official minutes of the meeting – while chairman Shaharyar Khan also confirmed that the spinner will have to play at least a single one-day or four-day match.

However, Ajmal wants to go against the wishes of the BoG and is pressing the board to reverse the decision and allow him to give the official test on the available dates of December 8 or December 10 at the Loughborough University.

Ajmal first called several powerful PCB officials to get the vote overturned in his favour but was told that a risk cannot be taken without first checking his action in a competitive match. The off-spinner then called Shaharyar with the backing of National Cricket Academy (NCA) head coach Muhammad Akram to ask him for his permission.

In the meantime, PCB General Manager Sports Medicine Sohail Salim wrote to the ICC seeking dates for an official test, which has not gone down too well with the BoG members who feel that the player is being too desperate to get clearance before the 2015 World Cup’s 15-man squad is finalised.

“Ajmal is doing everything he can to convince the PCB chairman that he can clear the test and in his desperations, he is putting his
career at risk,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune. “Shahryar shouldn’t facilitate his request because it could lead to a ban of 12 months if he once again fails the official test. He has been a match winner for Pakistan, but now he is playing with fire. Ajmal is just keen to play in the World Cup regardless of the risk, without thinking about the possibility of failure.”

The PCB chairman is currently in Karachi and has been told that the BoG members are not happy over reports that their decision is likely to be reversed and have said that he must think long and hard before making a final call.

“The BoG members want Shaharyar to call back Ajmal instantly and ask him to play either against Kenya for Pakistan A or for his department ZTBL,” added the official.

“They don’t want further embarrassment and want to be absolutely certain that Ajmal’s action will be legal in a match situation before allowing him to take an
official ICC test.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd,  2014.

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