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Team India will face off against New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) Final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from Friday (June 18). Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is going to be one of Virat Kohli’s biggest trump cards heading into the clash – being the third-highest wicket-taker in WTC over the last couple of season.

Ahead of the final, former Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has made a sensational accusation against one of the best spinners in the world – R. Ashwin. Ajmal has now claimed that Ashwin was kept away from international cricket for six months by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to ensure that he was not banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) due to a suspect bowling action.

Ajmal, who himself had faced a ban after the ICC had deemed his action illegal while bowling a ‘doosra’, said that while batsmen and fast bowlers have some rules in their favour, spinners have been hung out to dry, as he criticised the strict 15 degrees arm bending rule.

“You changed all these rules and regulations without asking anyone. I was playing cricket for the last eight years. All those rules were for me. That’s it,” Ajmal said in a Youtube interview with Cricwick.

“During that period, Ashwin was out from cricket for six months. Why is that? So you can work on him and your bowler doesn’t get banned,” Ajmal said. “They don’t care if a Pakistan bowler gets banned. They only care about money,” he added.

Ashwin has picked up 67 wickets in 13 Tests in the WTC at an average of just 20.88, just behind England’s Stuart Broad who has 69 wickets in 17 Tests and Australia’s Pat Cummins, who picked up 70 wickets in 14 Tests. Recently, Ashwin denied media reports that he had asked for ICC to relax the 15-degree rule to help bowl the ‘doosra’.

Ashwin’s clarification came as some media reports cited the off-spinner’s YouTube channel and quoted him as wanting the apex cricket body to relax the rule.

Taking to Twitter, Ashwin cited an article and replied: “Really?? Pls, don’t carry the wrong stuff!! I will never say such a thing.”

In another tweet, the spinner said: “Wrong wrong wrong!! My channel is done for all the right reasons and audience to know cricket better. If you can’t get such basic stuff right in translation, pls don’t carry such poor news.”

Ashwin has scalped 409 wickets in 78 Tests at an average of 24.69, including 30 five-wicket hauls and seven 10-wicket hauls. He is also India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in the longest format.

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