Pakistan Begin World Cup Preparations Without Saeed Ajmal

Despite Saeed Ajmal's determination to make a comeback in time for the big tournament, Pakistan have started planning for the World Cup without their star spinner.

Updated: September 22, 2014 10:02 IST
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Saeed Ajmal Brisbane
Ajmal's ban is a huge blow to Pakistan, with the World Cup just over five months away.

© AP

Karachi: Although the PCB is leaving no stone unturned to allow suspended off-spinner, Saeed Ajmal a chance to make a comeback to international cricket, the national selectors and head coach, Waqar Younis are already planning for the World Cup sans Ajmal. (Saeed Ajmal hopes of playing 2015 World Cup)

"What happened is unfortunate and a big blow to the team. But we have to plan thinking Saeed could not be available for the World Cup," Waqar said on Sunday.

"I know Saeed is keen to make a comeback and is working hard on his action. Saqlain (Mushtaq) will also be helping him soon. One hopes he is back. But we have to look for a replacement as well," the former test captain said.

Saeed, 36, was suspended by the International Cricket Council this month from bowling in international cricket after he failed a biomechanics test in Brisbane.

The test concluded that Saeed's elbow extension was well beyond the 15 degrees extension allowed by the ICC. Waqar, who took over as head coach only last month to see Saeed reported after the first test against Sri Lanka in Galle, said he would prefer to look for a younger replacement spinner.

"Someone who can serve Pakistan cricket for a long time," he added. He also made it clear that bowlers in Pakistan now have to accept the new protocol for bowling actions by the ICC as there was going to be no let up. "They have to work on their actions accordingly."

Privately also the national selectors and Waqar don't believe that Saeed can change his bowling action quickly enough to get cleared by the ICC and be available for Pakistan for the World Cup. "The big question being asked is will he be as effective as he was before after remodeling his action," one source said.

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