DUBAI - International Cricket Council’s general manager Dave Richardson has made it clear that Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal did not get any special favours. “He has not been given any special dispensation,” said Richardson and added that his bowling action has "not been cleared for life". He further stated that Ajmal has being constantly monitored and, if his action changes, he can be reported.
Richardson said the bowler, who took 24 wickets as Pakistan whitewashed England 3-0 in the Test series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has a "perfectly legal" action as long as his forearm does not straighten "beyond the levels of tolerance".
Meanwhile, the PCB clarified that Ajmal's claim that he has permission to straighten his arm more than other bowlers. The ICC regulations state a bowler may straighten his arm 15 degrees.
But Ajmal, whose arm has an 8.5-degree bend at rest, says he is permitted to straighten his arm 23.5 degrees. A PCB official said: "Saeed was referring to the angle of the upper arm to forearm and not the degree of elbow extension."
However, an ICC spokesman denied that Ajmal has a dispensation, saying: "Anything over 15 degrees is not allowed. At no stage have the ICC allowed any bowler to exceed the 15 degree limit."
In an attempt to quell the confusion, Pakistan team manager Naved Akram Cheema said: "The ICC's level of tolerance of 15 degrees relates to the degree of elbow extension that is permitted in the bowling action, i.e. the amount by which the arm is straightening.
"Previous tests conducted on the action of Saeed Ajmal show that the degree of elbow extension is well within ICC's tolerance levels."
England team director Andy Flower had already called for the ICC to review Ajmal's action.
"If that's the degree, then there's a problem," he said. "That's ridiculous. That is an ICC issue, though.
"They are there to police the game and make sure that it is played within the rules so they've got to scrutinise his action."
"Previous tests conducted on the action of Saeed Ajmal show that the degree of elbow extension is well within ICC's tolerance levels.
"Saeed Ajmal was referring to the angle of elbow abduction, ie. the angle of the upper arm to the forearm and not the degree of elbow extension. This angle is approximately 23 degrees in Saeed's case."
Ajmal told BBC Sport: "Someone is telling me my action is bad, but the ICC allow me to bowl 23.5 degrees because my arm is not good, but that's my problem. Apart from that, there is no problem with my action, it has been cleared by the ICC."