"I had appeared for this informal test after working hard on my action with Saqlain Mushtaq while I was in England and I cleared the test," Ajmal told PTI.

"I decided to take this private test after discussing the issue with some close cricket associates and my old county helped me in arranging the test at a biomechanics lab in Edgbaston," he said.

According to a close friend of Ajmal, the spinner had spent money from his own pocket to take the private test.

The 37-year-old spinner was suspended for an illegal bowling action in September last year and last month withdrew from the World Cup squad to be held in Australia and New Zealand in February-March.

Ajmal is due to appear for an official ICC test in Chennai on January 24 and if he clears that he can return to bowling in international cricket.

Even though his participation in next month's World Cup still remains uncertain, under the ICC rules all teams can replace a player before the February 7 deadline, a week before the mega-event starts.

But for that to happen Ajmal has to clears the ICC test where the spinner must not straighten his arms while bowling beyond 15 degrees.

"I am confident now of clearing the ICC assessment in Chennai because in the private test all my deliveries were within 15 degrees," Ajmal said.

Ajmal said even some of the trajectories he had developed in his new bowling action were within 15 degrees.

He said it was a big improvement from when he appeared in the ICC test in August when some of his deliveries were around 40 degrees.

The off-spinner said he was now focusing on the January 24 assessment and has not given a thought about playing in the World Cup if he cleared the test.

"That is something for the board and selectors to see right now. I just want to ensure all the remedial work I have put into my action bears fruit," Ajmal said.

But sources in the PCB said if he clears the test chances of Ajmal being sneaked into the World Cup squad at the last moment cannot be ruled out completely.

"Right now no final decision has been made on this because first we have to see how his official assessment goes.

Then the selectors must decide who he can replace and whether he will still be a force in the World Cup," the source said.

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