County news April 6, 2012

Ajmal to pull out of Worcestershire deal

Saeed Ajmal, the driving force behind Pakistan's Test series victory against England, is to pull out of his deal to be one of Worcestershire's overseas players in this year's Friends Life t20 competition.

Ajmal will cite a need to manage his workload ahead of additional international commitments for Pakistan, who are confident of announcing a series against Sri Lanka shortly.

Ajmal's wife has also recently given birth to the couple's third child, a son, who predictably has already been nicknamed Teesra - the 'third one' - after his latest mystery delivery.

It will be a major disappointment for Worcestershire, who had signed one of the most appealing cricketers in the game. Ajmal was also their best bowler in last year's T20 competition. He claimed 16 wickets in eight games, conceding fewer than six runs an over and averaging 11.37 per wicket.

Worcestershire have yet to hear official confirmation of Ajaml's withdrawal, though they were aware of plans for the Sri Lanka series which have been mooted for a few weeks. They have yet to make contingency plans.

The PCB has also yet to decide whether to allow Junaid Khan to play for Lancashire. The left-arm fast bowler has recently recovered from knee injury and, while he has applied for a No Objection Certificate, the PCB have yet to grant it.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent