Pakistan’s spinner Saeed Ajmal has decided to hang up his boots from the game of cricket after the ongoing National Twenty20 tournament in Rawalpindi. After being out of the national side for so long, he has finally decided to quit stating that he doesn’t want to be a burden on any team.
“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,” said Saeed Ajmal according to Wisden India.
From a match winner to a sidelined player
Saeed Ajmal was one of the biggest match winners the country has ever produced. He was a prominent feature across all formats and won so many matches for the team with his mystery bowling. The doosras, mixed with the off-breaks, made it extremely difficult for the batsmen to survive against him.
He played an instrumental role in the Pakistan’s victory over the then World No.1 Test side England in 2012 where his 24 wickets whitewashed the visitors in U.A.E. The spinner was also a part of the Pakistan side that won the World T20 in 2009 and also reached the semi-final of 2011 ODI World Cup.
The right-hander was at the peak of his powers until his bowling action was found illegal. His arm was found bending more than the permissible limit of 15 degrees and consequently, he was banned from bowling.
After working with Saqlain Mushtaq, he made a return to the game with a remodeled action but lost his sheen and failed to pick up wickets at the rate he once used to. He couldn’t find a place in the national side for long and the 40-year-old finally called it quits.
Ajmal played his last international game in 2015 against Bangladesh in Mirpur. In 35 Tests, he bagged 178 wickets at an average of 28.11. He also picked up 184 wickets in 113 ODIs to go with 85 scalps in 64 T20Is.