PCB, ICC clarify Ajmal comments on action

Pakistan cricket authorities and the International Cricket Council clarified the confusion over Saeed Ajmal’s bowling action, saying the spinner had been cleared within the specified limits.

Ajmal himself created more confusion, by claiming he has special dispensation from the ICC to straighten his arm beyond the allowed 15 degrees.

The 34-year-old off-spinner, who took 24 wickets in the 3-0 Test series whitewash of England, claimed that the ICC has allowed him extra leniency, up to 23.5 degrees.
As per the ICC rules a bowler can only straighten his arm up to 15 degrees, beyond which his action will be deemed illegal.

“I don’t know about my bowling action, but somebody was telling me your action is bad. ICC has allowed me 23.5 because my arm is not good because of an accident, that is why a problem,” Ajmal told BBC television on Monday.

“Otherwise no problem, straightaway cleared by ICC.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board said Ajmal was referring to elbow extension, and not the arm. “Ajmal was referring to the angle of elbow abduction i.e. the angle of the upper arm to the forearm and not the degree of elbow extension. This angle is approximately 23 degrees in Ajmal’s case,” the PCB said in a statement.

“The ICC’s level of tolerance of 15 degrees relates to the degree of elbow extension that is permitted in the bowling action i.e. the amount by which the arm is straightening,” it added.

ICC general manager cricket David Richardson said, “There is a big difference between the elbow carry angle (elbow abduction) and the degree of elbow extension. There is nothing preventing a bowler bowling with a bent arm, provided he does not straighten it beyond the permitted degrees of tolerance,” said Richardson.

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