Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Ajmal to retire from all formats at the end of the month

Kristopher Love | 14 November, 2017, 18:08

Pakistan's magical off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has announced on Monday his retirement from all forms of cricket, two years after losing his wicket-taking bite with a remodeled bowling action that was twice deemed illegal.

Having made his debut at 30, Ajmal's short but extremely successful career saw him reach the top of the ODI and T20 worldwide rankings while he was also an equally potent force in the Test format. "It was a highly satisfying career in which I achieved whatever goals I set for myself and helped the team win matches".

During a successful but controversial career, Ajmal was once celebrated as the world's number one bowler in one day internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 cricket, and was nearly as successful in Tests.

Ajmal feels that he is running out of time to go out on his own terms and admitted that the tail-end of his career was frustrating.

Ajmal said he will concentrate on coaching in the future. He had picked 178 wickets in just 35 Test matches which included 10 five-wicket hauls and four 10-wicket hauls in the match. Ajmal was a major pillar in the Pakistan line-up under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq. He was first pulled up during the 2008 Asia Cup but was cleared soon after.

Ajmal was banned from bowling in 2014 due to an illegal action and was unable to return to the peak of his powers after remodelling his action.

He finished with 184 wickets in 113 ODIs, and 85 in 64 Twenty20 internationals. The spin-wizard could never comeback and weave his magic with the new action which left him with no option but to bid adieu to the game. He fell out of favour with the selectors while his performances in the Pakistan Super League also did not help his case any further.

Hafeez's action was reported for a second time last month.

Ajmal last represented Pakistan in a T20I against Bangladesh in 2015.