Saeed Ajmal has been suspended from bowling for Pakistan after the International Cricket Council ruled his action is illegal.
It has been deemed by the ICC that the 36-year-old spinner straightened his arm by more than 15 degrees in all of his deliveries while he was being tested in Brisbane.
A statement from the ICC said: “The International Cricket Council today confirmed that an independent analysis has found the bowling action of Pakistan’s off-spinner Saeed Ajmal to be illegal and, as such, the player has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect.
“The analysis revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.”
The ICC’s decision means Ajmal is immediately unavailable to bowl in international cricket and the ban will remain until he modifies his action before he can apply for a re-assessment.
Ajmal blamed his illegal action on a “not usual” elbow and vowed to return by next year’s World Cup. The world’s top one-day bowler dismissed the ICC’s indefinite ban, which followed tests in Brisbane, as “not an issue” and said he would appeal soon.
“My elbow is not usual so that’s why it seems that I bend it more than the normal 15 degrees allowed. We will go into appeal soon,” he said in Faisalabad. “I will be in action in the World Cup next year, that’s my resolve.”
Ajmal was reported for his action in 2009 while bowling the doosra during the one-day international series against Australia but was cleared by the ICC after tests.
However, there was to be no reprieve this time around for the world’s No 1 ranked bowler in one-day internationals.
He is the third cricketer to receive an international bowling ban for an illegal action in recent months, with New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake suspended in July.
The news will come as a huge blow to Pakistan as Ajmal has been a star performer for them in all three formats.
Ajmal, who took five for 166 in the first innings against Sri Lanka in Galle, has played 35 Tests, 111 ODIs and 63 T20 internationals for Pakistan, taking 446 wickets in all three formats.
He finished his spell with Worcestershire with 63 wickets in nine LV= County Championship Division Two matches. That is still the leading mark in either division this season, while England all-rounder Moeen Ali has spoken in glowing terms of how Ajmal helped his bowling while they were at New Road together. Ajmal also played for the county in 2011.