Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal, on Monday (November 13), announced that he will retire from all forms of cricket at the end of the ongoing National Twenty20 tournament.
“I am quitting all forms of cricket after the current National Twenty20 tournament,” Ajmal told AFP. “It was a highly satisfying career in which I achieved whatever goals I set for myself and helped the team win matches.”
Ajmal, who remodelled his bowling action a couple of years back after it was called for suspect action, has failed to make a successful return to international cricket, featuring in only two matches since taking corrective measures.
With Yasir Shah finding a regular place in the national team and several other younger bowlers in limited-overs, Ajmal’s future at the highest level has looked bleak.
He bagged 16 wickets in six matches for Faisalabad, the team he captained in the recently-concluded Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, at an average of 31.06.
He won’t be featuring in the upcoming season of the Pakistan Super League either as he has been appointed as the bowling coach of Islamabad United.
Ajmal, who made a late entry into international cricket at the age of 29, quickly became one of the finest cricketers for Pakistan as also among the most potent spinners in the early 2010s. In 35 Tests, he bagged 178 wickets and remained an integral part of Pakistan’s dominant run in UAE.
His record in limited-overs was all the more impressive. In 113 games, he took 184 wickets at an average of 22.72 and an economy rate of 4.18. He has played 64 T20Is, in which he has taken 85 (joint second-highest for Pakistan) at an economy of 6.36. For five years – from 2009 to 2014 – he remained a regular in all three formats of Pakistan’s set-up.
His most memorable phase came in 2012 when he bagged 24 wickets in three Tests and helped Pakistan win the series 3-0.