You're a chucker! England legend Willis accuses Ajmal after seven-wicket haul
England began the defence of their world Test crown in the worst possible way in Dubai on Tuesday. The tourists were demolished on the first day of the first Test that featured yet another controversy involving Pakistan.
As Saeed Ajmal took a career-best seven for 55 and England collapsed to 192 all out, former England captain Bob Willis claimed the off-spinner was illegally bending his elbow.
‘The problem I have is with the doosra,’ said Willis. ‘Why do all these bowlers bowl with their sleeves buttoned around their wrists Why aren’t they wearing short-sleeved shirts The answer is clear. They are bending their elbows.
‘The authorities are now allowing these mystery spinners, unorthodox off-spinners, to bend their elbows to a degree. If they are going to be allowed to do this England should be saying, “Shouldn’t we be teaching our young spinners to bowl like that as well”’
Slow motion replays suggested Ajmal bent his arm by as much as 35 degrees, 20 more than the legal limit, for at least one delivery on Tuesday but he was unrepentant afterwards.
‘I’m just concentrating on my bowling,’ said Ajmal after Pakistan had by far the better of the first day’s play. ‘It’s the responsibility of the umpires and the referee to decide whether there is any problem with my action. I have no issue with anyone raising this. I have bowled all round the world, including in county cricket, without any problems.’
Seven-wicket haul: Ajmal tore through England's batting line-up
Matt Prior, the one England player to do himself justice with an unbeaten 70, chose his words carefully.
‘He didn’t bowl anything that we weren’t prepared for or expecting – he just had a good day,’ said Prior.
Ajmal was reported over his doosra, which turns away from the right-hander, three years ago but was cleared by the ICC.