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Reports: Saeed Ajmal decides to retire from all international formats

Roy Dilawer
ANALYST
Modified 18 Sep 2015, 13:54 IST
Rumors
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Ajmal had been instrumental in many victories for his team: Recently, he has been struggling to find a place in the team

Saeed Ajmal, the premier off-spinner of Pakistan, has decided to retire from international cricket, sources privy to the cricketer revealed. As per a private news channel, Saeed Ajmal came up with the decision after the selection committee did not select him in the upcoming series against Zimbabwe and England.

He was not selected even for the Test series against Sri Lanka. However, Saeed Ajmal has denied such rumours and has shown resolve to come back in the team. In a twitter message, he says he is confident and shall not give up. 

Whether or not Ajmal is considering his retirement from the international cricket, numbers from the recent past surely point towards a deteriorated performance since his return after he was banned to bowl and his return to the final XI seems unlikely given the performance of Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar.

Ajmal’s recent form and his retirement wish

Saeed Ajmal was a late discovery in Pakistan’s international cricket: he did not play his first international match before turning 30. However when he started playing, he compensated for all those years he had missed in cricket by taking 441 wickets in just 6 years. Saeed Ajmal was banned in September last year from bowling in international cricket due to his illegal bowling action. He carried out remodelling of his bowling action and ruled himself out of the World Cup 2015. In February 2015, he underwent official testing of ICC and was given a clean-chit to bowl in all formats of international cricket.

Since his comeback, Ajmal has not been effective as he was prior to his ban. His deliveries were mostly lacking good line and length and he went wicketless on occasions more than one. Ajmal has played two ODIs in 2015 and took only one wicket in 19.1 overs at an average of 123 and economy of 6.41. In the only T20 International match he played, he went wicketless in 3.2 overs for 25 runs. 

Even his domestic numbers do no favour him at all, in which he got only 2 wickets in 4 matches and gave away 124 runs at an average of 62. The 2015 English County Season (First-Class), where in 2014 he took 63 wickets at an average of 16.47, could bring only 16 wickets with an average of 42.12.

Pakistan Cricket Board opted to go against England without Saeed Ajmal and picked Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah instead. Saeed Ajmal was the star bowler for Pakistan in their last test series against England when he took 24 wickets in 3 matches and effected a 3-0 win for Pakistan.

The source who revealed the fact that Ajmal is considering his retirement, has further added that Ajmal wants to play a send-off match or series for Pakistan before saying goodbye to international cricket, for which he may make a request to the Board.

Published 18 Sep 2015, 13:50 IST
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