Saeed Ajmal calls it quits from all forms of cricket

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by chandtara, Nov 13, 2017.

Saeed Ajmal calls it quits from all forms of cricket

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by chandtara, Nov 13, 2017.

by Shazan Khan
Nov 13, 2017 at 12:08 PM
  1. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan.​

    One of the biggest matchwinners produced by Pakistan cricket, mystery spinner Saeed Ajmal has decided to retire from all forms of cricket post the ongoing National Twenty20 tournament in Rawalpindi. The career graph of Ajmal is basically dissected into two halves, i.e., before and after his action being deemed illegal.

    His action was suspected illegal back in 2014. Despite corrective measures taken along with assistance from Saqlain Mushtaq, Ajmal lost his capacity for picking up wickets. Ajmal, who recently turned 40, frustrated with his disappointments, finally called it quits from competitive cricket.

    It was only recently announced that Ajmal would feature in the Islamabad United camp playing the role of spin bowling coach. In the 35 Tests he has represented for Pakistan, Ajmal clinched as many as 178 wickets with ten 5-wicket haul and four 10-wicket hauls in a match. The last of which he played back in 2014 against Sri Lanka at Colombo.

    I don’t want to be a burden on any team: Ajmal
    He was also a potent weapon for Pakistan in limited overs cricket. In the 113 ODIs he played, Ajmal has 184 wickets to his name at an average of 22.72 and an enviable economy of 4.18. The last time Ajmal wore the greens for Pakistan was back in 2015 during the post World Cup tour to Bangladesh before Yasir Shah took over the spin department.

    “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,” stated Saeed Ajmal according to Wisden India.

    However, the highlight of Ajmal’s career would be during the England series in UAE back in 2012 where he clinched a whopping 24-wickets to whitewash the then number one side in the world. He also represented various T20 sides such as Antigua Hawksbills, Dhaka Gladiators, Faisalabad Wolves and Islamabad United.
Shazan is an admin at Cricistan who also conducts the occasional interview
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Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by chandtara, Nov 13, 2017.

    1. s_h_a_f

      s_h_a_f Tracer Bullet

      Dec 26, 2011
      Farewell. Good decision.
    2. Fireworks11

      Fireworks11 Kaptaan

      Sep 22, 2012
      Magician. One of cricket’s nice guys. Wish him well ahead.
    3. Munna

      Munna Moderator-e-Aala

      Oct 4, 2014

      All the best for his retired life.
    4. Prince Pathan

      Prince Pathan Sultan of Swing

      Aug 31, 2011
      Well, I guess thanks for everything even though he was a serial chucker
    5. Ahson8

      Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

      Jun 9, 2012
      Yeah, but at that time the rules were different.

      So thanks for the memories, Saeed
    6. Bilal123

      Bilal123 Tracer Bullet

      Dec 11, 2010
      The guy had a a career which many dream of. Won Pakistan many matches and series. Also won the world cup in 2009. May not have been the ending he wanted but should be grateful for the journey he had.

      Was a living legend for 5 years or so between 2009 to 2014
    7. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      Ban over action left me frustrated, says Saeed Ajmal after quitting cricket

      Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal, who always remained under the lens for suspected bowling action, eventually announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, saying: “Ban over action left me frustrated and hurt.”

      “More hurtful was that current player Stuart Broad questioned that and his comments hurt me no end. But I have forgiven everyone,” Ajmal said as quoted by AFP.

      Faisalabad-born off-spinner was once ranked world’s number one bowler in ODIs and T20 International cricket.

      Ajmal was equally successful in Tests with three Test matches against England in 2012 remain a high point of his career. He had famously claimed 24 wickets in three Test matches.

      England fast bowler Stuart Broad raised questions about the legality of Ajmal’s action when he was featuring in a county championship. Incidentally, Broad’s remarks came just a month before the umpires in Sri Lanka booked him for illegal bowling action for the second time.

      Referring to fellow spinner Mohammad Hafeez, Ajmal criticised the process of evicting bowlers for illegal action. “It seems that the process was meant for me and (Mohammad) Hafeez, all other bowlers with questionable actions are still playing,” he said.

      “I am quitting all forms of cricket after the current National Twenty20 tournament,” the spinner broke the retirement news over the phone.

      Having claimed 178 wickets in 35 Tests, Ajmal said: “It was a highly satisfying career in which I achieved whatever goals I set for myself and helped the team win matches.”

      The 40-year-old hinted that he might go for coaching in the future.
    8. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      Retired Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal helped give 'doosra' a fresh lease of life in a roller coaster career

      Pakistan cricket is famous for producing world-class fast bowlers. Since they started playing cricket, almost every Pakistan team had at least one fast bowler who would be considered among the best in his era. While fast bowling talent has indeed been abundant in the South Asian nation, they have also produced some special spinners that have left a deep impact on the game.

      In the 1980s, Abdul Qadir single-handedly revived the art of leg spin with an action that served as a template for many budding spinners trying to bowl a googly like him. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Saqlain Mushtaq got the rare honour of naming a delivery that he invented, the doosra.

      When Mushtaq first unleashed the delivery, it was so mysterious that even after watching super-slow-motion replays of his action, commentators could not decipher how an off-spinner can turn the ball the other way. Saqlain’s invention was later adopted by fellow off-spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh among others, granting it some much-needed legitimacy even though some experts were still unconvinced about its place in the game.

      Saeed Ajmal played a major role in Pakistan's title-winning run in the 2009 World T20. Reuters

      Saeed Ajmal made his international debut in 2008 at the age of 30 in what can be termed as the post T20 era. An era in which the only way for an off-spinner to avoid getting hit all over the park was to rely on his variations. Ajmal gave the doosra a new lease of life along, while also bringing with it a whole new set of controversies.

      Already a veteran of the game, having played more than a decade of domestic cricket, Ajmal made an immediate impact at the international stage when he bamboozled the Australian batsmen in an ODI series in the UAE. But as Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh had found out before him, you don’t flummox the Aussies with the doosra and hope to get away with it. Ajmal was reported for suspect action in 2009, but was cleared immediately. The doosra lived on and continued to give headaches to batsmen around the world, for now.

      Despite ICC clearance, the doosra and its chief proponent Ajmal continued to face a boycott of sorts from several cricket experts in Australia and England. In 2009, a group of Australian ex-spinners, including Shane Warne, met at a 'spin summit' and collectively declared that the doosra cannot be bowled legally.

      Former Test off-spinner Ashley Mallett didn't mince words while speaking about doosra. "I have never seen anyone actually bowl the doosra. It has to be a chuck." The committee also refused to coach it to future generations of Australian spinners. "Until such time as the ICC declares that all manner of chucking is legal in the game of cricket, I refuse to coach the doosra. All at the 'Spin Summit' agreed." A sensitive man, Ajmal must have been hurt by these comments, but the world was yet to see his best.

      Ajmal played a crucial role in Pakistan's winning run in 2009 World T20, drying up runs and picking crucial wickets in almost every match. A Test call-up came soon afterwards as Pakistan's most successful spinner Danish Kaneria was dropped from the side due to poor form. As Ajmal grew in confidence at the international level, his personality came to the fore. Ajmal had the Sky Sports commentary team in tatters after he collected his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket, giving an interview that is now part of YouTube folklore.

      Ajmal had limited abilities with the bat but he used them to the fullest when he scored his first Test fifty at Birmingham in the same series. Ajmal was never shy of a contest and never far from a wholehearted laugh, and the manner in which he played the game won him accolades back home and nearly turned him into a cult figure.

      By 2011, Ajmal was widely being regarded as the best spinner in the game across all formats. He picked 50 Test wickets in the year and also climbed to the top of the ICC bowler rankings in ODI and T20I formats. Like many Pakistani spinners before him, Ajmal saved his best for the English team as he picked 24 wickets in a series in UAE in 2012 against a strong English side. This was a resurgent Pakistani side under Misbah-ul-Haq and Ajmal played a crucial role in building a fortress for them in their adopted home.

      Ajmal’s success came in the face of the ongoing witch-hunt from sections of the media and ex-players, who continued to question his bowling action. In 2014, Ajmal decided to go to the centre of the storm as he signed up to play for Worcestershire for his second stint in English county cricket. Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan took a sly dig at Ajmal’s bowling action by posting a picture of his seemingly bent arm while Ajmal picked 7 for 19 against Essex. Stuart Broad joined in the discussion and was later gagged by English Cricket Board (ECB), but the damage had already been done by then.

      Later that year, ICC did another assessment of Ajmal’s bowling action, banning him subsequently. The world was shocked to find out that Ajmal was bending his arm by almost 40 degrees. In the same year, ICC booted several other spinners with suspect actions in a cleansing drive. The doosra was then systematically killed along with Ajmal's career.

      It did however, lead the cricketing fraternity to debate over the extent to which spinners could flex their arm to lend a balance between bat and ball, as well as allowing deliveries like the doosra to add to the spectacle of the game. That, of course, could never have happened. Cricket always distinguished between bowling and throwing, and even though it allowed some leeway with the 15-degree rule, it would have been unfair to expect ICC to be more flexible.

      Ever the fighter, Ajmal fought on as he tried to rebuild his actions. Experts suggested that the burden of carrying Pakistan’s attack in all three forms of the game had lead to the deterioration of his action. Ajmal worked with Saqlain to manufacture a new bowling action that would allow him to extend his career for a couple of seasons, but he wasn’t able to create an impact at the international level.

      Ajmal announced his retirement from all forms of the game, acknowledging that a comeback to international cricket is somewhat impossible now. Even in his final statements before bidding goodbye, he expressed his bitterness and hurt at being censured by veteran English pacer Broad.

      Very few spinners in the history of the game have managed to terrorize batsmen. When Ajmal was at his best, batsmen dreaded the prospect of facing him, and opposition fans prayed for him to pick a niggle before an important match and miss it. Ajmal has expressed his desire to coach youngsters in his post-retirement life. Pakistan will do well use his services. Cricket will be richer for another bowler who can revive and reinvent the doosra.
    9. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      PCB congratulates Saeed Ajmal on a wonderful career

      Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has congratulated the off-spinner Saeed Ajmal on a wonderful career on social media. The veteran decided to hang his boots from all forms of the game on Monday after the conclusion of the ongoing National T20 Cup, the domestic tournament in the country. The bowler was one of the best while he was playing before his action was deemed illegal few years ago. Though he came back with the remodelled action, he was not as effective as he was before and eventually went out of contention for the national team.

      Ajmal last donned Pakistan jersey way back in April 2015 a T20 International against Bangladesh. Since then he wasn’t considered for the national side due to the lack of performances. He won many matches single-handedly for his country while he was in his prime and 447 wickets across all formats is a testimony to it. But the ban on his action led to the decline of his career which never came back to normalcy.

      The official Twitter handle of PCB posted a message on social media and thanked him for his contribution to Pakistan cricket. The message for the 40-year-old read, “Thank you for the memories @REALsaeedajmal, the Doosra, the Teesra, the Off-spinner, the never-say-die attitude with an ever present smile. We will always remember you! Stay strong and all the very best in your coaching career.”

      Ajmal has been appointed as the spin bowling coach of Islamabad United for the third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL). He would now look to guide the youngsters and prepare them for the cricket at the highest level. If he manages to do well in the second innings of his life, he might well earn a call-up from the national side to coach the spin bowling resources of Pakistan team.
    10. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      And then there was a magician…


      There was a magician without a wand in his hand, who did not wear a hat or had a secret magic spell. He just had a heartwarming smile on his face and was blessed to control the ball in every condition and on every stage.

      The magician had the superpowers of bowling off-spin and Doosra, he had the ability to rule the best in the world, the skill to bamboozle any opponent, and got the capability to even make the maestros struggle.


      There were highly skilled opponents in front of him, who had dominated the world in the past, they were confident to beat him, but they were unable to decode that master of masters. They found him extremely challenging to face.

      The magician was an unsung hero of Pakistan cricket team, who conquered the battlefields single-handedly at occasions. He stayed in low profile, there were other stars who dazzled in his presence, but he never complained and kept doing his job.


      Like any other mortal in this world, the magician also had a fair share of lows in his journey. The important part is that he did not stay down, he rose from the ashes to burn down his rivals.

      There were times when he was left alone on the frontline to fight the enemies. He did not back off, he combated against the competitors bravely and took his unit to unbelievable victories.


      He faced challenges and encountered criticism for the way he used his tricks. He tried to explain that it is natural and he cannot help it, but the authorities tested his action and found it flawed. It turned out to be illegal, thus he was taken away from the battlefield.

      Despite all the difficulties, he stood tall, honest and true to his duties. He persisted with his job even after revamping his action.

      He soon realized that his powers are deteriorating and the fighter was courageous enough to accept the fact that his troop needs young guns to take his position now.


      The magician simply handed over the responsibilities to youngsters and walked away silently in the dark leaving behind his legacy for the coming generations.

      He was Saeed Ajmal, the smiling warrior of Pakistan cricket.

    11. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      Pakistan spin maestro Saeed Ajmal, was one of the most difficult bowlers to face in modern day cricket, and perhaps one of the most innovative one as well.

      The Faisalabad born off spinner ended his cricket career today (Wednesday), after playing his last match for Faisalabad against Lahore Whites at the semis of National T20 Cup.

      Ajmal received a guard of honour from both sides, for his contribution to the game.

      Addressing the media, Ajmal once again questioned the International Cricket Council, over its bowling action ruling. “I believe that only 10 percent of the bowlers could clear the protocol set by ICC regarding the clearance of bowling action,” stated Ajmal.

      The doosra specialist further added that he was disappointed with PCB, as they did not stood by my side against the ICC.

      Meanwhiile, Ajmal would next be seen as spin bowling coach of Islamabad United at the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL).
    12. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      End of an era. Thank you for the memories.
    13. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      Saeed Ajmal being given guard of honour - Picture PCB

      Curtains fell on the prolific cricket career of spin-wizard Saeed Ajmal with the defeat of Faisalabad in the semi-final of National T20 Championship in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.

      The 40-year old bowler, who led his regional team to the semi-final of national T20, was given a guard of honour by players of Lahore Whites and Faisalabad after the game to make his farewell memorable.

      Saeed had announced earlier this month that the ongoing national T20 tournament would be last of his career and he’ll hang his boots forever. Although Ajmal has made himself available for foreign leagues, it seems unlikely that he would participate any further.

      Ajmal’s career remained under clouds due to his bowling action, which many kept saying not to be legal, but he always remained defiant.

      He played an important role in Pakistan’s Test series win against England in 2012, which still remains one of the highlights of Ajmal’s career.

      In 35 Tests played for Pakistan, Ajmal claimed 178 wickets at an average of 28.10, with ten 5-fers in innings and four 10-wickets hauls.

      Ajmal was equally effective in the shorter format and took 184 wickets in 113 ODIs and 85 wickets in 63 T20Is for the country.

      However, last few months of his career couldn’t justify him and that gradually pushed him out of national team.

      With new players coming in, Ajmal decided to hang his boots and is will not take on the new role of coaching. He was named bowling coach of Islamabad United earlier and the bowler aims to train youngsters.

      Following his farewell match, Ajmal told media that he’s looking forward to the role of coaching.

      “I will now concentrate on my assignments as a coach and on my cricket academy in Faisalabad,” Ajmal told media after the match.

      Ajmal said that he’s proud to have won matches for Pakistan.

      “I am proud that I have represented Pakistan and contributed in my country’s wins,” he said.
    14. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      On retirement, Ajmal complains PCB did not fight for him at the ICC

      "PCB helped me in my career but I am sorry to say that they did not fight my case well with the ICC," says Ajmal — DawnNews

      Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, while formally announcing his retirement from all forms of cricket on Wednesday, complained that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had not fought his case well enough with the International Cricket Council (ICC) after he was suspended for having a questionable bowling action.

      "PCB helped me in my career; but I am sorry to say that they did not fight my case well with the ICC when they suspended me," Ajmal said while addressing a press conference.

      Ajmal said that he believed the PCB should raise the matter of bowling actions with the ICC as Pakistan does not have many off-spinners left now.

      Ajmal's cricketing career ended with a defeat as Faisalabad — the team he represents in the domestic circuit — was defeated by Lahore Whites in the semi-final of the National T20 series on Wednesday.

      The off-spinner performed well in the last outing of his career and conceded just 13 runs in his four overs while securing Raza Ali Dar's all-important wicket.

      At end of the match, players from both the teams lined up to bid farewell to the star off-spinner.

      With tears in his eyes, Ajmal thanked his parents, wife and friends for supporting him throughout his career.

      "I thank the PCB, my Club and the Faisalabad region for their support and encouragement throughout my career," Ajmal said during his press conference.
    15. Bublu Bhuyan

      Bublu Bhuyan Youngsta Beauty

      Feb 15, 2010
      Because he isn't allowed to chuck anymore? It's sad.
    16. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      Wish my last game was an international match - Ajmal

      With tears in his eyes, a slight tremble in his voice but with nothing to regret, Saeed Ajmal officially brought the curtains down on his international and domestic career, after Faisalabad crashed out of the National T20 Cup following their semi-final loss to Lahore Whites in Rawalpindi.

      The farewell was not too extravagant: he walked off the field after the match, waving to a nearly empty Rawalpindi Stadium. However, players from both Lahore Whites and Faisalabad gave him a final guard of honour as he left the ground. The PCB, too, arranged for a press conference, which had "Thank you Saeed Ajmal" across its backdrop. Ajmal walked into the packed conference room, with every news channel's reporters in anticipation, as the nation saw the Pakistan offspinner - via live feed - battle hard to keep from tearing up.

      "It's been 25 love for when you retire you do get emotional," Ajmal said, after taking a moment to gather his thoughts. "I am retiring with a heavy heart, but I am satisfied with my career. Although I am retiring from international and domestic cricket, I want to stay in touch with cricket through my cricket academy and want to contribute for the country."

      Ajmal, however, did not completely rule out the possibility of playing in T20 leagues elsewhere. "I want to remain available for foreign T20 leagues, other than the PSL, and want to continue to play the format. But for now I have accepted Islamabad United's offer to be their spin-bowling coach. I think now is the right time to go away. I am 40 years old and I think I am now considered as baggage in domestic teams. So I don't want to lose respect here. I want to leave with my head held high and it's time for the youngsters to come in and take my place."

      Ajmal, who was captaining Faisalabad in the National T20 Cup, finished his final innings with figures of 1 for 13 in four overs. That, however, did not bring an end to his player duties right away. After the match, PCB conducted a dope test with him, the results of which are due only after a week.

      Nine years ago, he had made his international debut, when he was chosen by chief selector Salahuddin Salu for the 2008 Asia Cup. Back then, Ajmal was considered one of Pakistan's best spinners, and was soon one of the world's most successful bowlers. He ended his Test career with 178 wickets in 35 Tests at an average of 28.10. His form swelled under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq, when he took 141 wickets in only 26 Tests, including the 24 wickets against England in the UAE in 2011-12, when Pakistan won 3-0.

      But for all of Ajmal's successes until 2014, his career was dented due to his bowling action. He was reported for an illegal action twice in his international career and it brought the potency of his doosra - a delivery he used to devastating effect - under a cloud. He was later cleared to bowl by the ICC, albeit with the doosra still outside the limit, but the remodeled action came with a dip in form. He was eventually discarded from the Test team, with his last foreign tour coming against Bangladesh in 2015. Two ODIs and a T20I later, Ajmal faded away.

      Ajmal, however, has often been sensitive to criticism on his bowling action, including lashing out at the ICC over their 15-degree flex rule. "I feel only 10% of all bowlers would be able to stay within the limits defined by the ICC protocols," Ajmal said. "I always felt ICC has been hard on Pakistan and PCB never did enough for the bowlers. Doosra is a regular delivery and it's purely legal.

      "I don't know why there is a false perception about its legality," he said. "It's a routine thing and if a bowler works on it it can be done easily. Not every fast bowler can bowl the reverse swing. Similarly, doosra isn't for everyone. You have to work really hard to master it, and rejecting it is outrageously harsh. It should be encouraged as it was one of the finest deliveries by an offspinner.

      "Whatever I have done in my career, I am absolutely happy and proud. I came into the national team after the age of 30 and have done great things for Pakistan. What I have done, many take over 20 years to achieve. Therefore I have achieved everything in my career, but I wish my last match could have been in international cricket. However, I am still happy and thank you to every single person who has supported me through my ups and downs."

      Since Ajmal's exit from the national team, Pakistan had been struggling to find even one promising offspinner, but have never looked back after legspinner Yasir Shah took over the spin-bowling reins. Selectors, however, are still on the look out to find Pakistan's next big offspinner, but haven't found one yet.

      "PCB needs to think seriously about it," Ajmal said on the lack of quality offspinners in Pakistan. "We are never short of talent and I believe we will never face a drought. We do have offspinners in the system, and they need to be developed, but I am afraid offspinners are being discouraged. They [PCB] should plan to bring offspinners back into the cycle and keep this system alive. We have great offspinners and historically, spinners have done a lot for Pakistan."
    17. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      Saeed Ajmal reveals his favorite scalp

      Pakistan’s spin guru Saeed Ajmal retired from all forms of cricket in November. He has produced some incredible performances for his side and will forever be remembered as a spinning great in Pakistan. When asked, which was his most memorable scalp in his long and illustrious career, the 40-year-old singled out the dismissal of South Africa stalwart Jacques Kallis in the 2009 World T20 semi-final.

      Ajmal feels that particular wicket and the subsequent tournament triumph brought him fame and fortune he had never expected. Post retirement, Ajmal now plans on grooming new spin talent and helping those with problematic bowling actions. Reliving his wicket of the Proteas all-rounder in an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune the former offie said, “The match was at a point where the South African team had the upper hand and Kallis was hitting the ball everywhere.”

      He added, “At that time when I took his wicket it was the best moment for me. It was so crucial it almost felt like we had won the World Cup. That was a proud moment for me and I was lucky to be a part of that team … easily one of my best memories.”

      Ajmal was cursed by an abrupt halt in his career
      Despite a scintillating World T20 outing, Ajmal was cursed with poor form. A year later, at a similar juncture, the orthodox off-spinner was held largely responsible when Pakistan lost to Australia at the death courtesy some clutch hitting by Australia’s Mike Hussey. Following the loss, Pakistan bowed out of the 2010 world cup. That remains the sole cricketing memory he would want to erase if given a chance.

      However, he took the setback as another obstacle and didn’t let it derail his career. Ajmal went on to emerge as ODI’s top-ranked bowler the following year and held that position for two more years until the infamous problem with his bowling action brought an abrupt halt to his career.

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