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India, Pak veterans divided over Ajmal's bowling action

Islamabad, Sun, 12 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 11 (ANI): Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal's controversial bowling action has sparked off a heated debate with some Indian greats calling him an "outright chucker," but their counterparts across the border have backed him to the hilt.


While former spinners like Bishan Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna and Maninder Singh have questioned the legality of his action, Pakistani players like Abdul Qadir, Saqlain Mushtaq and senior Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh have been supportive of the 34-year-old, who bamboozled English batsmen in a three-match Test series and took 24 wickets.


"You have allowed someone like Muttiah Muralitharan and that's where the problem started. Can anyone with naked eye be able to conclude whether the arm is bending at less or more than 15 degrees. You need to trust the human eye and let's be honest a chucker can be identified from a mile," the Daily Times quoted Bedi, as saying.


"It's admirable that International Cricket Council (ICC) is trying hard to curb the menace of match-fixing but they aren't doing anything to curb the menace of chucking. When you try to detect whether a match is fixed or not, it's not easy but chucking is something that's happening right under your nose," Bedi added. rasanna too blamed it on the ICC and said the governing body should take notice.


"His action is certainly a problem but then the ICC has allowed him to bowl. As far as we know, bending the elbow more than 15 degrees is not permissable in the ICC rules. But this fellow himself said that he has been allowed a 23 degree bend," Prasanna said.


The ICC tested Ajmal's action in 2009 and it was cleared by the human movement experts at the University of Western Australia. It was found that Ajmal bowled with a bend of 23.5 degrees before releasing the ball and then flexed it to around 15.5 degrees, which means the actual "jerk" is around eight degrees - within the limits of 15 degrees set by the ICC. Maninder Singh called Ajmal a chucker and criticised the ICC for ignoring the issue.


Ajmal, however, got some support from his Indian counterpart Harbhajan Singh.


"From whatever little I have seen of Ajmal, he is a brilliant bowler and he has an amazing skill set. It is very difficult to pick his doosra and that makes him a lethal bowler. Also, he bowls a straighter one well and his off break is also effective," he said. (ANI)


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