RAWALPINDI: Legendary off-spinner of Pakistan, who is also known as magician, Saeed Ajmal announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Wednesday here at Pindi cricket ground.
“I am quitting from all forms of cricket after the current National Twenty20 tournament,” Ajmal told media during press conference along with Shakeel Khan Pakistan Cricket Board media manager.”It was a highly satisfying career in which I achieved whatever goals I had set for myself and helped the team to win matches.”
While talking about his ban he said that ban over his action left him frustrated and hurt. He said that current parameters of International Cricket Council are very tough for the off spin bowlers, “doosra is an art but in current scenario it seems ICC is hell bent to eliminate this art that is beauty of spin bowling” he added. He said that during his ban he did not get the desired support from Pakistan Cricket Board.
During a successful career, Saeed Ajmal achieved many heights. He was once world’s number one bowler in one-day internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 cricket, and was almost as successful in Tests. 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 the 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.
Despite of his early successes, Ajmal said the last two years of his career had been frustrating.
His time in the limelight was cut short after a temporary ban for chucking, he returned to the sport in 2015 without the same form. It seemed that the magician had lost his magic as he bagged single wicket in two ODIs and a Twenty20 in Bangladesh. Considering his performance in that series he was never given chance to represent national team again.
Answering another question regarding few most memorable moments of his career he said that winning T20 World Cup is right on top, becoming first Asian team to beat South Africa in their country and whitewashing England in UAE in 2012 are some of the best moments of his career.
He said that people usually ask from him about the last over of semi final match of 2010 World T20 match against Australia in which was unable to defend the target in last over as Michel Hussy chased down the target. He said as a bowler he learnt a lot from that particular match and came back as a stronger bowler, “ youngster should not worry from difficult situation as hard situations give you chance to emerge as a better player” he added.
He became emotional with tears in his eyes at one point of his press conference; he thanked everyone who supported him throughout his carrier. He said he enjoyed a lot to play under leadership of Misbah ul Haq.
In the ongoing National T20 tournament Saeed Ajmal was extremely economical in the last game of his career against Lahore Whites and returned with the figures of 1/13 from his four overs. His wily off-spin bowling helped his team restrict the opposition to 142 and they had a realistic chance of qualifying for the final. But the batsmen blew away the chances as they failed to put up any resistance with the bat and were bundled out for just 132. The veteran failed with the bat however and bagged a golden duck. Soon after the handshakes between the teams were over, all the players from both the teams formed a guard of honor as the legendary bowler walked off from the field for one final time. He was emotional with the gesture from the players but deserved every bit of it. He scalped eight wickets in the tournament across 8 matches and was economical throughout the competition.