Big Bash League 2012-13

Ajmal still a Striker, but Akmal's contract cut by Sixers

Daniel Brettig in Adelaide

November 20, 2012

Comments: 7 | Text size: A | A

Umar Akmal scored 21, India v Pakistan, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo, September 30, 2012
Umar Akmal will not be playing for Sydney Sixers this season © AFP

Saeed Ajmal and the Adelaide Strikers will be the chief beneficiaries of the PCB's decision to allow their players limited participation in the BBL after the Sydney Sixers terminated Umar Akmal's contract.

The Strikers had originally intended to call on Ajmal for only the first game of the tournament and then regain him for the final stages, a plan that remains possible. However the Sixers were unhappy to have Akmal's original three-game stint cut to one and are now looking elsewhere.

Jamie Cox, the director of cricket for the South Australian association, said Ajmal's re-confirmed availability was a relief after several days of frantic phone-calls trying to keep Pakistan's No. 1 spinner in the picture for the tournament.

"The arrangements work for us at the moment, they work for us better than some of the other sides because we had originally intended for Saeed to be here for the first game anyway," Cox said. "We're still working on how that works for the latter end of the tournament, but for them to reverse their decision we're very grateful.

"I know CA have been involved there, which has been great. To have him in our team albeit how brief it turned out to be will be pretty exciting. We're hoping we can free that up for the back-end of the tournament where hopefully we're well and truly alive and challenging for the trophy.

"Pakistan are at liberty to put out whatever program they like and we understand that's how it works with international players, but we're always keen to try and find whether there was an opportunity for him to reconsider and fortunately in this case they have, and we're very grateful. It'll hopefully work very well for us."

The PCB had earlier denied permission for Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Akmal to play in the Big Bash League to ensure their participation in its own local tournament. But, upon Cricket Australia's request, it reconsidered its stand and allowed them to play the initial stages of the tournament. Due to the scheduling, Akmal was found to be available for just the opening game of Sixers' campaign.

"While it would have been great to have Umar here for the start of the BBL season, the short time frame offered is not in the club's best interest and we have decided to see if a suitable replacement is available rather than continue down this path," Stuart Clark, the Sixers' general manager, was quoted as saying by AAP. "We are confident our strong roster will be able to cover the loss of Umar should we not find a suitable replacement."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by irfan-omer on (November 22, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

Jamie Cox, the director of cricket for the South Australian association, said Ajmal's re-confirmed availability was a relief after several days of frantic phone-calls trying to keep Pakistan's No. 1 spinner in the picture for the tournament. ... Mr Jamie Cox for your info he is world's NO 1 spinner .

Posted by dontlikecricket on (November 21, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

It would have been nice if PCB let all of them play few games in Australia then asking them to return earlier for a "camp". What better preperation is to participate and play in a quality league where a lot of international crickters play? PCB confuses me some time. I can undertand if it was a Bangla or Srilanka league but Big bash is the highest quality league around the world!!!!

Posted by Ahsan-cric-freak on (November 20, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

Thankfully Umar is freed! concentrate on INDO-PAK series Mr.Akmal ... Before this i was also wondering how a team of No 1 t20 league of the world can earn services of a player for just a game??

Posted by Stark62 on (November 20, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

One cancels his contact, the other gets his contract terminated and the last one will play one game!!

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

It shows how much our cricketers are wanted by other teams, such a blessing to have such players in the Pakistani team and sorry to to Big Bash League but it had to be done, as we play India next month. Thank you for your love and support. We owe you

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

yes, going for one game is ridiculous, it really does look this way!! stuart clark may have pressed the right button here. good for umar also, he would have to travel a lot. frantic!!

Posted by malepas on (November 20, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

No point flying all the way there just to play one game,,not good for the team or the player,, Umer is a great talent and should have been given more chance by the PCB to play at least 3-4 games. Good to see Ajmal playing though,,he is a class above and world's best spinner. Good luck.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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