Suspended Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has withdrawn from the World Cup squad because he has no chance of getting his action cleared before the tournament.
Pakistan Cricket Board officials met on Saturday and decided that all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who is also suspended from bowling in international cricket, will travel to Chennai, India for a test.
“If Hafeez clears the informal test than we will apply to the International Cricket Council to hold his official test for his bowling action to be cleared,” the PCB said in a statement. The 37-year-old Ajmal, who was named in the preliminary squad, will continue remedial work on his action and play domestic cricket until he has satisfied himself he can take the ICC test.
“Ajmal withdrew himself,” PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters.
“We didn’t want to take a risk with Ajmal’s career because latest reports suggested his elbow extension was not still within the 15 degrees allowed by the ICC despite all the remedial work on his action.
“We were aware that if he took the official ICC test in a bid to make the World Cup squad and failed it he could be suspended from playing for one to two years and that would mean the end of his career,” Khan said.
Ajmal, Pakistan’s top spinner and wicket taker in all formats of the game for the last three years, was suspended from bowling in September after failing the ICC test. Hafeez was banned last month.
Teams have to name their final 15-man World Cup squads by Jan. 7.