Ajmal fine with action scrutiny

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SAEED Ajmal reflected on the best performance of his life, yet also had to respond to questions about the legality of his action after he had put England in dire trouble in the first Test yesterday.

England endured a torrid time against the unorthodox Pakistan off-spinner, collapsing to 192 all out, but they had no quibbles afterwards about the straightness of the arm which had taken a career-best seven for 55 on day one of this three-match series in the United Arab Emirates.

Instead, the noises came from a former England captain several thousand miles away in London - Bob Willis voicing his teatime opinion, in a broadcast studio, that Ajmal is pushing the limits of the current Laws of Cricket.

England’s plight was soothed a little by Matt Prior (70no), who made it clear at stumps - after Pakistan had responded with an untroubled 42 for none - that the tourists have no objections to Ajmal’s action.

Even so Ajmal, reported already back in 2009 and cleared then of transgressing the permitted straightening of his arm, had to account for himself again.

“I’m just concentrating on my bowling. It’s the umpires’ and match referee’s responsibility to see if there is any problem with my action,” he said. “They did it to [former Pakistan off-spinner] Saqlain Mushtaq. They are doing it with me. I have played county cricket, and there has been no problem with my action.”

There was no problem from Prior either.

He said: “On his action, it’s not something that we are concerned about or talk about in the dressing room,”