County news December 21, 2012

Hampshire sign Saeed Ajmal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Hampshire have pulled off a coup by signing Saeed Ajmal, the Pakistan spin bowler, for the later stages of the 2013 season.

Ajmal will join Hampshire during August and September - a period when George Bailey, their main overseas signing, is likely to be involved in Australia's T20 internationals against England, a series in which Hampshire's left-arm spinner Danny Briggs may also be involved.

Ajmal will be expected to energise Hampshire's late-season promotion challenge on West End's spin-friendly surfaces after they narrowly failed to gain promotion from Division Two in 2012.

Hampshire's manager, Giles White said; "As things stand, it is possible that both George and Danny could be involved in the ODI series between England and Australia so the availability of Saeed for August and September is a great fit.

"He is one of the best bowlers in the world in all forms of the game and will add real quality to the squad at the business end of the season."

Ajmal has taken 122 wickets for Pakistan in 23 Tests at an average of 27.09, including 24 in only three Tests against England in the UAE earlier in the year.

This is Ajmal's second short stint in county cricket. He spent a time at Worcestershire in 2011, taking 17 wickets in three first-class matches, 11 wickets in four List A matches and 16 in eight Twenty20 matches.