Former Pakistan bowling coach Daryl Foster and one of cricket’s leading biomechanics experts, Daryl Foster, said the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) crackdown was going out of its way “to get rid of some of the best spin bowlers in the world.”
In an exclusive interview with Cricket Australia, Foster said the game was poorer without the likes of the Saeed Ajmal.
“I wasn't surprised, just disappointed for the boy [Ajmal] himself,” Foster, who previously worked with Sri Lanka’s spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan on his action, said.
The ICC banned the 36-year-old Ajmal on Tuesday after biomechanic tests at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, Australia, revealed all his deliveries breached the permissible limit for straightening of the elbow joint.
Foster, who has also coached Western Australia and Kent, said he was a little disappointed with the crackdown against the spinners.
“We seem to be going out of our way to sort of get rid of some of the best spin bowlers in the world. But ... if that's the way the ICC are going then people have to comply with what the rule is.”
Ajmal has about five months to correct his action and appeal for a reassessment in order to play in the World Cup.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan conceded it was a big jolt coming less than six months before next year's 50-over marquee event.
Foster, who recently worked on the action of Sri Lankan off-spiner Sachithra Senanayake, who was banned in July this year, said Pakistan had the facilities and the expertise to fix Ajmal’s action.
“I don't think we can afford to be losing such a great talent like this out of the game.”
According to Foster, who worked with Pakistan in 2001, remedial work could take as little as a week if the player was receptive to the advice of the experts.
Suspect bowling actions have remained a problem for Pakistan for a while with Shoaib Akhtar, Shabbir Ahmed, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik being reported in the past.
Former fast bowler Akhtar, who like Muralitharan was also cleared to bowl on medical grounds, has advised Ajmal to legally challenge the ban.
“I would advise Saeed to legally challenge not only the ban but the entire protocol and method being used by the ICC to test bowlers,” Shoaib said.
“I don't know how much the PCB is going to support Saeed on this issue but to me the best option for him is to take the ICC to court.
“The way I look at it he has to fight this case himself if he wants to play in international cricket again.”