LAHORE - The International Cricket Council (ICC) Friday confirmed that the bowling action of Pakistani spinner Bilal Asif has been found to be legal, and the player can continue bowling in international cricket.

The bowling action of the 30-year-old spinner was reported as suspect during the third one-day international against Zimbabwe at Harare on October 3. He underwent a biomechanical test of his action in Chennai, India on October 19. "At the assessment in Chennai, it was revealed that the amount of elbow extension in all of Bilal’s deliveries was well within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the ICC regulations," said an ICC release.

The news comes as a relief for the newcomer as his career was in danger of being derailed with questions on his action. Bilal only burst onto the international scene in June this year when he was selected in Twenty20 squad for the tour of Sri Lanka. But he only made his international debut during Zimbabwe tour, where he claimed 5-25 in only his second game during which on-field and television umpires as well as the match referee reported his action.

Pakistan team manager IntikhabAlam said the news came as a big relief for the team as well as for the player. "We were confident that his action would be cleared. It’s good news for Bilal as well as for the team," Intikhab said. Bilal Asif is in line for a Test debut in the third and final Test which starts in Sharjah from Sunday after paceman Imran Khan was ruled out with a hand injury. He was included in the squad of 16 as a cover-up for spinners Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar.