Pakistan's off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has been cleared to bowl by the International Cricket Council after his re-modelled action was deemed legal.

Ajmal, who was banned from bowling last August after the first Test against Sri Lanka, was omitted from the squad for the World Cup as he had failed a bowling action in Brisbane. 

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The ICC had launched a crackdown on illegal actions last year, a move that was questionned by several critics.

However, former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, in his column for Al Jazeera English, backed the ICC's move, saying that the body was well within its rights to ban illegal actions.

A week before the start of the World Cup, the ICC said Ajmal and fellow off-spinner Sohag Gazi of Bangladesh had been re-tested in Chennai and been cleared to resume bowling in international cricket.

"At the retests, it was revealed that the amount of elbow extensions in both the off-spinners' bowling actions for all their deliveries was within the 15-degree level of tolerance..." the world governing body said.

"The umpires are still at liberty to report Ajmal and Gazi in the future if they believe they are displaying a suspect action and not reproducing the legal actions from the retests."

Ajmal, meanwhile, has developed a new carom ball which he plans to bowl once he returns to international cricket. Having taken 178 wickets in 35 Tests and 183 in 111 ODIs, the off-spinner said he has no plans to retire.

"If I had any retirement plans I would have quit when I was suspended last year,'' Ajmal said. "I want to play for another three-four years before quitting the game.''

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies