Aj­mal re­tires from all forms of cricket

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

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

Dur­ing a suc­cess­ful but con­tro­ver­sial ca­reer, Aj­mal was once cel­e­brated as the world's No 1 bowler in one-day in­ter­na­tion­als (ODIs) and Twenty20 cricket, and was al­most as suc­cess­ful in Tests.

He fa­mously cap­tured 24 wick­ets in three Tests against Eng­land in 2012.

But his time in the lime­light was cut short af­ter a tem­po­rary ban for chuck­ing saw him re­turn to the sport in 2015 with­out the same form.

He took just one wicket in two ODIs and a Twenty20 in Bangladesh, his first matches af­ter be­ing cleared to bowl, and was never se­lected for the na­tional team again.

"I am quit­ting all forms of cricket af­ter the cur­rent Na­tional Twenty20 tour­na­ment," Aj­mal said from Rawalpindi on the phone.

"It was a highly sat­is­fy­ing ca­reer in which I achieved what­ever goals I set for my­self and helped the team win matches."

Aj­mal took 178 wick­ets in 35 Tests, the last of which was at Galle in Sri Lanka in 2014, where his bowl­ing ac­tion was re­ported for a sec­ond time. It was first re­ported dur­ing an ODI se­ries against Aus­tralia in the UAE in 2009.

He fin­ished with 184 wick­ets in 113 ODIs, and 85 in 64 Twenty20 in­ter­na­tion­als.

But in spite of his early suc­cesses, Aj­mal said the last two years of his ca­reer had been frus­trat­ing.

"Ban over ac­tion left me frus­trated and hurt," he said.

"More hurt­ful was that cur­rent player Stu­art Broad ques­tioned that and his com­ments hurt me no end. But I have for­given ev­ery­one."

Eng­land fast bowler Broad ques­tioned the le­gal­ity of Aj­mal's ac­tion when the Pak­istani spin­ner was fea­tur­ing in an English county cham­pi­onship a month be­fore the um­pires' re­port in Sri Lanka. Aj­mal took a swipe at the process of call­ing bowlers out for il­le­gal ac­tion.

"It seems that the process was meant for me and (Mo­ham­mad) Hafeez, all other bowlers with ques­tion­able ac­tions are still play­ing," he said.

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

Aj­mal said he will con­cen­trate on coach­ing in the fu­ture.

Saeed Aj­mal

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