Aj­mal still a Striker, but Ak­mal's con­tract cut by Six­ers

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

SYDNEY

Saeed Aj­mal and the Ade­laide Strik­ers will be the chief ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the PCB's de­ci­sion to al­low their play­ers lim­ited par­tic­i­pa­tion in the BBL af­ter the Sydney Six­ers ter­mi­nated Umar Ak­mal's con­tract.

The Strik­ers had orig­i­nally in­tended to call on Aj­mal for only the first game of the tour­na­ment and then re­gain him for the fi­nal stages, a plan that re­mains pos­si­ble. How­ever the Six­ers were un­happy to have Ak­mal's orig­i­nal three-game stint cut to one and are now look­ing else­where.

Jamie Cox, the di­rec­tor of cricket for the South Aus­tralian as­so­ci­a­tion, said Aj­mal's re-con­firmed avail­abil­ity was a re­lief af­ter sev­eral days of fran­tic phone-calls try­ing to keep Pak­istan's No. 1 spin­ner in the pic­ture for the tour­na­ment.

"The ar­range­ments work for us at the mo­ment, they work for us bet­ter than some of the other sides be­cause we had orig­i­nally in­tended for Saeed to be here for the first game any­way," Cox said. "We're still work­ing on how that works for the lat­ter end of the tour­na­ment, but for them to re­verse their de­ci­sion we're very grate­ful.

"I know CA have been in­volved there, which has been great. To have him in our team al­beit how brief it turned out to be will be pretty ex­cit­ing. We're hop­ing we can free that up for the back-end of the tour­na­ment where hope­fully we're well and truly alive and chal­leng­ing for the tro­phy.

"Pak­istan are at lib­erty to put out what­ever pro­gram they like and we un­der­stand that's how it works with in­ter­na­tional play­ers, but we're al­ways keen to try and find whether there was an op­por­tu­nity for him to re­con­sider and for­tu­nately in this case they have, and we're very grate­ful. It'll hope­fully work very well for us."

The PCB had ear­lier de­nied per­mis­sion for Aj­mal, Shahid Afridi and Ak­mal to play in the Big Bash League to en­sure their par­tic­i­pa­tion in its own lo­cal tour­na­ment. But, upon Cricket Aus­tralia's re­quest, it re­con­sid­ered its stand and al­lowed them to play the ini­tial stages of the tour­na­ment. Due to the sched­ul­ing, Ak­mal was found to be avail­able for just the open­ing game of Six­ers' cam­paign. "We are con­fi­dent our strong ros­ter will be able to cover the loss of Umar should we not find a suit­able re­place­ment."

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