Worcestershire have relieved under-performing spinner Saeed Ajmal of his duties for the final two matches of their County Championship campaign in what will be an end to the 37-year-old’s third stint at the county.
Worcestershire have signed West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel with the 27-year-old pacer set to replace Ajmal following next week’s game against Sussex.
Ajmal was banned by the International Cricket Council for a suspect bowling action in August 2014, before being cleared to return in February this year.
Since his return, the spin maestro was well under-par and managed to pick up only 16 wickets at an average of 48.50 as Worcestershire faced the possibility of relegation from First Division.
The county did not specify whether Gabriel’s signing was a stop-gap solution and what it meant for Ajmal’s future.
“We are hoping with the extra pace he has, a 90 miles an hour bowler, he will just give us something slightly different. We are looking forward to him playing a part for the last two matches and hopefully making a difference,” Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes said.
Ajmal, who was in his third stint at Worcestershire since first joining the county in 2011, last turned up in Pakistan colours in a Twenty20 match against Bangladesh, finishing with figures of 3.2-25-0.
He also played two ODIs on the Bangladesh tour and had a similarly unimpressive return. His 19.1 overs in the two games cost 123 runs for a solitary wicket.
An international return will be harder now for Ajmal, who has since been replaced by record-breaking leg-spinner Yasir Shah.