Aj­mal set to call it a day

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAPE TOWN — Pak­istan off-spin­ner Saeed Aj­mal has de­cided to re­tire from all forms of cricket af­ter the Na­tional T20 Com­pe­ti­tion which is cur­rently un­der­way.

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.

Wis­den In­dia quote the veteran spin­ner as say­ing: “This na­tional event is my last tour­na­ment and I don’t want to be a bur­den on any team.

“The last phase was frus­trat­ing. But be­fore any­one can raise a fin­ger against my se­lec­tion (in do­mes­tic matches), I want to leave and that’s my final de­ci­sion.”

Aj­mal en­joyed a suc­cess­ful start to his ca­reer and went on to play 35 Tests tak­ing 178 wick­ets at an av­er­age of 28.10.

One of his most mem­o­rab le p e r f o r man c e s came against the Proteas at Ne w l a n d s where his 10/147 nea r l y

in­spired, wha t would have been, a fa­mous vic­tory for Pak­istan.

He would at­tempt to re­vive his ca­reer in the shorter for­mats af­ter his sus­pen­sion for an il­le­gal bowl­ing ac­tion but found op­por­tu­ni­ties hard to come by in a na­tional team that had moved on. Aj­mal played his final ODI and T20I matches on the 2015 tour of Bangladesh end­ing with 184 wick­ets in one-day and 85 scalps in Twenty20 cricket. Mean­while, Eng­land’s Moeen Ali says he has over­come his side strain and is ready to play his first Aus­tralian tour match in Townsville this week. T h e Worces­ter­shire all­rounder missed Eng­land’s open­ing two games in Perth and Ade­laide but is avail­able for the final Ashes warm-up game against a Cricket Aus­tralia XI start­ing on Wed­nes­day. “I am good,” he told re­porters on Mon­day. “It’s just a slight strain on my side from throw­ing. “It was a bit frus­trat­ing but also not a bad thing, you get a lot more work done.

“I feel like I am ready to play and I can’t wait to spend time in the field. We have got four days of cricket ahead.

“I can get a bit of game time in my sys­tem and then be ready to play, hope­fully, at the Gabba.”

The four-dayer in north Queens­land is Eng­land’s last game be­fore the Ashes series-opener in Bris­bane start­ing on Novem­ber 23.

“It’s about be­ing ready for that first ball when it’s de­liv­ered in Bris­bane,” he said.

Moeen, on his first Ashes tour Down Un­der, says he is ready for the in­ten­sity of the series.

“I’ve heard a lot about Bris­bane,” he said. “It’s some­thing you have to block out. You have to fo­cus on your game and the sit­u­a­tion that the team is in.

“I’m pre­pared the best I can. When you’re out there you rely on your in­stincts. I know it will be tough, but I’ve al­ways backed my abil­ity.”

Eng­land head into their third tour match on the back of a com­pre­hen­sive 192-run win over a CA XI in a day-night en­counter at Ade­laide Oval, the venue for the sec­ond Test which gets un­der­way on De­cem­ber 2.

Moeen, usu­ally Eng­land’s num­ber eight in Test cricket, is likely to move up the or­der in the ab­sence of star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who re­mains at home af­ter be­ing ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of ac­tual bod­ily harm.

Stokes is await­ing the out­come of a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his in­volve­ment in a fight out­side a Bris­tol night­club in Septem­ber.

“With the Stokesy sit­u­a­tion I’ve prob­a­bly got to go up the or­der by one, but my aim as a crick­eter is to get up the or­der as high as I can, maybe push into a role at five or six,” said Moeen.

“Ob­vi­ously that’s a bit fur­ther ahead. Firstly I have to do the job at num­ber seven.” — Sport24-AFP.

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