I am not a spent force - Saeed Ajmal
Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has set his sights on making a comeback to international cricket, while affirming that he still has plenty of cricket left in him.
Ajmal was one of Pakistan’s bowling mainstays until September 2014, when he was handed a ban for bowling with an illegal action.
In February this year, Ajmal was subsequently cleared by the International Cricket Council after undergoing remedial work to correct his action.
Ajmal made a comeback in the series against Bangladesh in April but he could not make an impact as he struggled to recreate his magic.
Looking forward to making a return to international cricket, Ajmal opined that he is eager to take part in domestic cricket in Pakistan.
“I’m looking forward to playing once again in the upcoming domestic cricket season in Pakistan and I’m ready to take on the challenge of regaining my place in the Pakistan team,” Ajmal said in an interview with www.PakPassion.net
“I’m confident that I can perform well again in domestic cricket in Pakistan and make a comeback for my country and prove my critics wrong.
“It would be great to play for Pakistan again as international cricket is the pinnacle for any cricketer.
“I feel that I’m not a spent force when it comes to international cricket and as a bowler I still have something to offer my country.”
After the Bangladesh series, Ajmal chose to play county cricket for Worcestershire in the summer in an attempt to gain his rhythm and form back.
From seven matches for Worcestershire in 2015, Ajmal has picked up 16 wickets at an average of 48.50, with one five-wicket haul under his belt.
Dismissing rumors of contract related problems with Worcestershire, Ajmal clarified he never agreed to play a full season for Worcestershire.
“There was no sacking or early termination of my contract as some media are reporting.
“My contract with Worcestershire is until 4th September as I will be leaving for Hajj the day after I return to Pakistan next week.
“Worcestershire had wanted me to play for them for the whole season but I had decided and agreed with Worcestershire prior to signing the contract this season that I wouldn’t be able to play the whole season and would return to Pakistan prior to the end of the season.”
Ajmal has not been able to strike as effectively with the new action as he used to earlier, posing quite a conundrum for the 37-year-old.
Acknowledging these are tough times for him, Ajmal accepted that his performance at Worcestershire left a lot to be desired.
“The last few months have been a tough and difficult phase of my cricketing career.
“Obviously I’ve not been as successful for Worcestershire this season, but overall I’m satisfied with how things have gone this season and I’m quite happy with my comeback into first-class cricket after the ban.
“I’m feeling positive and I’ve given my 100% effort to Worcestershire as I always have and hope that I will get the opportunity to play for them in future.
“They are a fantastic club and it’s always an honour to play for them.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recently announced the creation of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which will be played in February 2016 in Qatar.
Hoping to utilise the PSL as a platform to press for his return, Ajmal lauded PCB for taking the initiative to start such a venture.
“I’m also looking forward to playing in the Pakistan Super League which is an exciting venture and one that we are all looking forward to.
“There are a number of Twenty20 leagues around the world and it is great news that the Pakistan Cricket Board is launching the PSL.”
Ajmal also asserted that he is ready to play in other Twenty20 leagues around the world, further divulging that he is in talks with a franchise in the Bangladesh Premier League.
“As well as the PSL I’m available to play in leagues around the world and I’m in talks with one of the franchises in the Bangladesh Premier League.”
Ajmal's last appearance for Pakistan came in April 2015, in the Twenty20 International against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
© Cricket World 2015