ABP NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Ajmal will not be included in World Cup squad, says PCB chairman
New Delhi: So, what if the International Cricket Council (ICC) has cleared Pakistan offie Saeed Ajmal, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not ready to include the World No 1 spinner in the side for the World Cup.
With barely a week left for Pakistan’s Cup campaign to begin at the World Cup, the PCB chairman Shahryar Khan confirmed to ABP News that they are not thinking of including Ajmal in the side now. “This is certainly a big news for us. But he has just cleared the first phase, and we have to take one step at a time. There are a few more assessments required, so we are not going to include him for the World Cup,” Khan said.
The PCB chief also admitted that now with the team getting into the World Cup mode, including Ajmal may not be a right option. “Even if we want, we can’t go against the ICC rule. Only in case of a genuine injury can we ask for a replacement, but even that needs to be cleared by the ICC. So, there’s practically no chance for Ajmal in this World Cup,” the veteran administrator pointed out.
After clearing the action, the PCB will now allow the offie to participate in domestic league. “It will take time. One can’t just walk into the team all of a sudden. Ajmal will now have to prove his fitness and he also needs to ensure that the remodeled action is effective,” Khan said, adding that the selection committee members will keep a close eye on the spinner.
With World Cup hopes dashed, Ajmal will now have to face a few rehabilitation programmes in order to be match fit. “That’s of prime importance. We will ensure that he comes back strong,” he said.
Relieved after being cleared, Ajmal too admitted that it would not be ideal to rush things. “I would ideally like to come back after the World Cup, that way I will get a little more time to sharpen my skills. But if the team needs me, I am always ready to help,” Ajmal said.
After days of uncertainty, things have at least fallen in line for Ajmal. After working with coach Saqlain Mushtaq, he has finally been able to correct his illegal bowling action. And taking lessons from the past, the offie is looking forward to return to the international arena with a better and cleaner bowling action.
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