County news November 15, 2013

Ajmal returns to Worcestershire

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pending the required paperwork and approval, Worcestershire may have pulled off one of the signings of the English winter by bringing Saeed Ajmal back to New Road for the 2014 season.

Ajmal previously represented the county in 2011, taking 16 wickets in eight Twenty20 appearances and 17 in three Championship matches.

According the current Future Tours Programme (FTP), Pakistan have no international cricket scheduled after the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, which concludes around the time the English season is likely to begin, and when they are due to host Australia in October 2014.

Given the fluid nature of touring schedules these days that could well change, but it appears likely that Ajmal could be available for the majority of the season.

Steve Rhodes, Worcestershire's director of cricket, said: "Saeed fitted in to the dressing room fantastically well in 2011 and his experience at the highest level can only be a massive boost to our young squad.

"To sign a world class player of Saeed's quality shows the stature the Club has in the world of cricket and demonstrates the county's determination to challenge for honours in 2014."

Ajmal said: "I'm looking forward to returning to New Road for what I hope will be an extended stay. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed our short time in Worcester during 2011 and I hope to be able to contribute to a successful 2014 campaign."

Worcestershire finished fifth in Division Two of the County Championship in 2013, and failed to progress from the group stages of the YB40 and Friends Life t20.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TARIQ on November 17, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Good for Worster, ppl who are asking for Mohd Irfan to play county must be mad, he needs to be managed very carefully as he already has broken down,,county is very hectic and will destroy him physically, yes there is a strong case of letting young batsman to play in alien conditions whether in county or league cricket,Pak also must organise A team tours.

  • usman on November 17, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Irfan, Junaid or Sohaib can do with a full season or two in county cricket. For a senior pro to play in county is a manifestation of mercenary professional attitude.

  • usman on November 17, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    There's nothing he can learn or gain in county, apart from money. They'll bowl him like a workhorse and they've every right as they'd have paid for it. County cricket is a brilliant experience for newcomers and for bowlers who are developing their art, not for the finished articles. Waqar broke his back bowling like a horse for Surrey, although he seemed to love playing in England a lot. Saqlain lost all his mystery bowling long stints to county players and the falling results with the national team showed. Ajmal will really not gain anything, and one should fear burn-out, or falling standards now for him.

  • Faizan on November 17, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Young Pakistani batsmen should be going for county cricket. There should be some sort of a deal between PCB and ECB or these counties that with every 1 Pakistani bowler they will have to pick 2 young Pakistani batsmen too, even if they don't pay much to the young batsmen or don't play them in every match, it is the experience of playing in different conditions with different players, sharing the dressing room with people with different mindsets, that our batsmen desperately need in order to improve their confidence level and technique. England and young English batsmen and bowlers would certainly learn from Ajmal but what will Pakistan benefit from it? I am sure Pakistani batsmen are talented enough to get few games in all formats at least in division 2 of County cricket. I think it is high time for ECB and other strong cricketing boards like that of SA and Australia to help Pakistan cricket in their batting woes. Do this for the millions of Pakistani cricket fans. Please post.

  • Android on November 17, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    PCB please send some of your players to county so they can gain experience under different conditions..

  • Android on November 16, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    its not about who pcb can send to county cricket like some comments demanding batsmen to go. its the counties who pick players according to their needs. and why would they pay handsome amount to young player. they often go with big names and big players.

    for youngsters, pcb should arrange A team tours. 1st they need to make a proper A team with all upcoming talent and then guys performing well should be sent to national team from there. in pak, they dont have a proper A team. they just assembel it when required with any player. just like they did against SA in UAE.

  • Paulo on November 16, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Good for county cricket. Let's hope our young batsmen get exposure to him.

    On Paksitan Batsmen, I'm sure Umar Akmal could get a game in some counties. Others I'm not so sure. Perhaps Misbah or Younis.

  • Stark on November 16, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    There is no benefit for Saeed or Pak cricket in general with this move.

    English county cricket is hectic and really demanding for any player, hence Ajmal might break down because he has been playing non-stop cricket for a while and I am certain the delayed Test series against WI's will be slotted in after the T20 WC.

    Also, Pak don't play Eng until 2016 and Saeed may not be around, so no point of the "gaining experience" excuse either.

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    The Counties would not pay major money to sign a Pakistani batsmen except maybe for Misbah ul Haque or Younis Khan. The rest needs to be sent to play league cricket in England so they get some exposure

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    PCB should send some of its young batsman to go and play county cricket. It will do them a world of good.

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