Sport Cricket Ishant knee injury rules him out of World Cup
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Ishant knee injury rules him out of World Cup

Ishant Sharma cricket India
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India seamer Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the World Cup after failing to recover from a knee injury, according to various media reports.

The 26-year-old will be replaced in the defending champions’ squad by Mohit Sharma, ESPNcricinfo claimed.

Ishant, who has played 76 ODIs and taken 106 wickets, has not played since the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne.

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He was selected for the ODI against Australia in Sydney on January 26 but the game was abandoned due to rain before he had the chance to test his fitness.

Mohit Sharma, also 26, has taken 10 wickets in 12 ODIs.

Meantime, the ICC approved the contentious bowling actions of offspinners Saeed Ajmal and Sohag Ghazi on Saturday, allowing both players to resume bowling in international cricket.

Pakistan’s Ajmal and Ghazi from Bangladesh are not part of their respective World Cup teams after both were suspended last year due to illegal bowling actions.

The ICC said testing in Chennai, India showed the elbow flexing during the delivery action of both bowlers was within the allowed 15-degrees level of tolerance.

International umpires will be given video and photos of both players’ legal bowling actions, for comparison if either bowler comes under future suspicion of “chucking.”

Ajmal, 37, was reported during the first test against Sri Lanka in August while Ghazi was also reported in August after a one-day international in the West Indies.

Another suspended Pakistani offspinner, Mohammad Hafeez, had to postpone his official retesting on Friday in Brisbane because of a calf injury.

Ajmal said he wanted to make a comeback to international cricket in the series against Bangladesh in April, but was available for the World Cup in case Pakistan has an injury crisis.

“I have set my sights on the series against Bangladesh, but if Pakistan needed me during the World Cup, I am available to join the team,” Ajmal said.

Ajmal had worked with former test bowlers Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Mohammad Akram at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore to remodel his bowling action after his initial reports suggested flex of over 40 degrees in his bowling arm.

Ajmal was hopeful to clear official testing of his bowling action after he underwent a private testing in England and claimed he had cleared all his deliveries.

“I am thankful to my coaches … for working tirelessly with me and remodelling my action,” Ajmal said. “It was not an easy thing as I used to bowl 40 overs a day and practice very hard.”

Ajmal, who baffled batsmen with his “doosra” on all types of wickets around the world, has developed a new ball which he plans to bowl once he returns to international cricket.

Ajmal, who has taken 178 wickets in 35 test matches and 183 in 111 one-day internationals, said he has no plans to retire.