Saeed Ajmal vows to return better than ever
Lahore, Feb 9 (IANS) Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has revealed that not only has he remodelled his action to legally bowl again in international cricket, he has added two new deliveries to his armoury and hinted he could return to Australia for the Big Bash League next summer.
In an exclusive chat with cricket.com.au, Ajmal also revealed the reasons behind his decision to opt out of playing for Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup despite still being the World's No.1 ranked one-day bowler.
"I withdrew my name from the World Cup squad because I felt I was not at my best yet and I didn't want to play as second fiddle to anyone," Ajmal said from the National Cricket Academy here.
"I have always wanted to be the leader of the pack and played cricket as a front-line bowler and will continue to do so in the future as well. I would have featured in the World Cup if I wanted to play, but I opted against it as I didn't want to be a burden on the team.
"Now that my action is cleared I will work more on my bowling. I have already started playing club cricket. Pakistan's next bilateral series is still three months away and I will have gained significant improvement by the time Pakistan plays the next series."
The off-spinner underwent the ICC's strict biomechanical testing on January 24, but only learned he had passed the tests and been cleared to resume his international career on Saturday. He celebrated with friends and close family in his hometown of Faisalabad, a three-hour drive away from Lahore.
Ajmal could make his return to the national team during a planned tour of Zimbabwe before a likely bilateral series against arch-rivals India later this year. When he does, he says he will be bringing all his old tricks in a new action, as well as a few new ones.
"The ICC has cleared my five different bowling varieties, including the doosra," Ajmal said.
"I will bowl all of my varieties and trouble batsmen with them. While serving the suspension and remodelling the action I have added two more varieties in my bowling arsenal. I can now also bowl seam up and for it I am thankful to Mohammad Akram who worked with me on it.
"The other delivery I have learned is the carrom ball, which works like doosra. Carrom ball is a lethal delivery in the death overs to counter batsmen's slog shots, especially under the recent changes in ICC laws which don't allow more than four fielders outside the circle."