Ajmal set to call it a day
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.