Ajmals ban is a blow to the game. Hes a top-class spinner, a match-winner, and cricket needs players of his caliber to light up the show. Then again, you cant gain an unfair advantage in the name of doosra, teesra, or whatever it is. He was reported by the neutral umpires, underwent an independent analysis and was found to be bowling with an illegal action. Its good that world crickets governing body is coming down hard on throwing. We still like to consider cricket as a gentlemans game. So Ajmal must accept the decision and try corrective measures.
Suspension is not the end of the world. Yes, Ajmal is on the wrong side of thirty, but age is not a factor here. If he continues to play, he has to alter his action and make it legal. Ajmal is a star performer 33 Tests, 169 wickets at 27.46 and 110 ODIs, 182 wickets at 22.24 and Pakistan would be weaker without his bowling. But having a Mercedes-Benz doesnt mean you dont have to visit a mechanic. Its time for Ajmal to drop in at a mechanic store, and it should be a biomechanist in his case.
The ICC must have informed him about the areas which he was found to be transgressing. Ajmal must work on those areas. The onus is on him to right the wrongs. It is his responsibility to pass the tests and become eligible to bowl again. He must consult the experts, and Im not talking about the former players here.
The ICC release says the analysis was performed by the Human Movement Specialists at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. Ajmal must seek help of the biomechanists there. They will tell him what needs to be done for rectification.
During my stint with the Pakistan team I never found anything wrong with Ajmals action. So he must have altered it of late or tried something new for which he was reported. I just wonder what were the current team of coaches and support staff doing Why didnt they alert him Maybe their laptops failed to detect the fault...theyre so dependent on their gadgets, these modern-day coaches.
Ajmal shouldnt be disheartened.He must take inspiration from Muttiah Muralitharan. The Sri Lankan spinner was called for throwing more than once early in his career. But he came back strong to finish as one of the legends of the game.
Ajmal, too, can redeem himself.
As told to Shamik Chakrabarty