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'If you allow yourself to relax, you'll be swept away'

Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal talks about how he learnt to bowl to the doosra, being robbed of Tendulkar's wicket in Mohali, and his career highs and lows

Interview by Umar Farooq

May 30, 2014

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

"I would say 90% of the time cricket makes you cry, but the 10% that forms the good parts is truly worth it" © AFP

Everyone in Pakistan either wants to be a fast bowler or a batsman. How did you end up a spinner?
I was a fast bowler until 15. I used to play mostly with a tennis ball covered in vinyl electrical tape. My school captain Maqsood Ahmed encouraged me to try offspin. He felt I might be more successful as a spinner. He probably noticed that my height and build weren't good for fast bowling. It was a breakthrough. So here I am.

What does cricket mean to you?
Cricket is a tough game. I would say 90% of the time it makes you cry, but the 10% that forms the good parts is truly worth it. The key to success, I think, is to bear the bad days with a smile. If you can do that, the good days become more and more frequent.

You made a relatively late entry into international cricket, playing your first Test when nearly 32. How come?
I cannot tell why I took so long and who and what were the forces that delayed my entry into international cricket. I'd rather focus on my present and future rather than cursing my past. God has given me this personal quality of shrugging off failure quickly and not taking disappointments to heart. That's just the way I am and this approach has helped me greatly in life. I simply refuse to be disappointed.

How did you master the doosra?
I learned to bowl the doosra by watching video footage of Saqlain Mushtaq's bowling during my days in England playing league cricket. I never got any direct tips from him but I closely studied him bowling the doosra on video.

But way before that, Aqeel Ahmed, who played for Faisalabad, could bowl a pretty good one. Variation is a key weapon for any spinner. I used to watch Aqeel take wicket after wicket with his doosra and I wanted to do the same. I felt confident that if he can do it I could too.

Is it still a problem for you to bowl to left-handers?
During the early phase of my career it was. It had almost become a mental block. Left-handers are supposed to be fearful of offspinners, but I could see that I wasn't making them afraid. It became very frustrating for me and I knew I had to do something about it. I thought to myself, I have this ball in my hand, that's my biggest weapon; why am I not able to use this weapon effectively against left-handers? I worked hard at the problem, going to the nets and bowling at left-handed batsmen for long periods. Allah was kind and I was able to work out my deficiencies. Over the last year and a half to two years, it has ceased to be a problem. I came at the problem with a positive mental attitude. I fine-tuned my doosra for left-hand batsmen.

Do you fear that overusing the doosra might make you predictable?
I don't think I overuse it. When I look at the left-handers I've dismissed over the last two years, 70% have fallen to the doosra. I use it because it works. To me, that's effective use, not overuse. If I find that a batsman is uncomfortable against the doosra, I'll bowl exactly that to him, even if I end up bowling ten doosras in a row.

We heard you were offered the Pakistan captaincy.
I don't want to put myself forward for captaincy. I think I am better as a team player. I do think about being captain of Pakistan, but I am reluctant too. Captaincy in Pakistan is not easy. The captain ends up being blamed for anything that goes wrong. Just look at Mohammad Hafeez. He resigned after our exit from this year's World T20. Why? It's because all the blame was being dumped on him. I have been approached for captaincy but I declined. I want to be relaxed about my cricket. God has blessed me with a sunny disposition and I want to keep it that way.

Misbah-ul-Haq has been outstanding in this role. In fact, when you consider the circumstances in which he has performed his job, I would say his services as captain are greater than even Imran Khan's. Yet he doesn't always receive his due. He's been a tremendous leader during an extremely difficult time for Pakistan and he's been our leading run getter. Yet each time we lose a match, people forget about his magnificent contributions. They start demanding that he be dropped. I really fail to understand this. Even as a batsman, people complain he's too slow, that he blocks a lot, does a lot of tuk-tuk. This is not fair to Misbah. He is a watchful batsman and becomes extra-watchful if the team is losing wickets from the other end, which often happens with us. His approach is appropriate and serves the interests of the team. I can tell you as a bowler that it pleases me greatly to see Misbah standing at the crease. If he is batting, it gives me heart that I will have runs to bowl at.

 
 
"As a bowler it pleases me greatly to see Misbah standing at the crease. If he is batting, it gives me heart that I will have runs to bowl at"
 

Don't you think Misbah is over-reliant on you and that this keeps you under pressure all the time?
I agree that they rely heavily on me. This is a responsibility I accept with a sense of honour and humility. I am there to be used as and when my captain needs. I am never sure which overs I'm going to bowl, when I'm going to get called upon. I remain alert all the time, ready to serve. All I know is that whenever my captain calls on me, I have to give it everything. There was a time when I used to feel anxious that I could get called upon unpredictably, but I no longer feel any pressure about it.

Cricket is a team game, so you obviously can't get five or ten wickets all the time. Others too have to respond to contribute.
Whether it's the first over or the last, whether the boundary is short or long, whether the batsman is new or well-set, I always answer the call of my captain. I would never say, hey, that's a short boundary over there, I don't want to bowl from this end. That's just not me. I have a sense of duty about it. Whenever I'm called upon, my answer always is, come on, give me the ball.

You can never relax in cricket. You have to keep working at the game all the time, keep trying and learning new things. If you allow yourself to relax, you'll be swept away. It's an unpredictable game. You can never be sure of what's going to happen next. It can also be a cruel game. It can give you a lot of heartache.

You have never played Test cricket in your country. How does that feel?
It is perhaps the greatest misfortune of my career that I have been forced to play nearly all my international matches outside Pakistan. I have played over 200 international matches by now and only three have been in Pakistan. None of my 33 Tests has been in Pakistan.

I grew up watching many Tests at Iqbal Stadium, in my home town of Faisalabad, and used to dream of one day playing there myself. That has yet to happen. I can't say if it ever will. I am extremely keen to play in front of my own people. Few things would give me greater joy. I keep praying for the quick return of international cricket to Pakistan. If it happens after my retirement, it will leave me very sad indeed. I do agree that our team has nicely managed to adopt the UAE as a second home, but my heart still aches with the desire to play at home. I want to see the intensity of support I am able to attract here. That is something I would like to experience. We have played our so-called home matches in a number of locations, including the UAE, England, Sri Lanka, and even New Zealand. These locations have all been welcoming and provided top-notch facilities, but they aren't home. It's different when I come to Pakistan. Just breathing the air here makes me feel better.

As one of the world's top spinners, do you miss playing in the IPL?
No doubt it would be better for us if we could be included in the IPL. But the loss is only financial. We're all playing a good deal of cricket as it is, so we're not losing out on that count. But yes, Pakistani players fully deserve to be included in the IPL. I can understand why they might want to exclude us from matches inside India, but the IPL has now been exported to South Africa and the UAE. There should be no hesitation in including us when the games are being played outside India. I would even ask the IPL organisers to host matches in Pakistan. Why not? It would be good for the fans and our players would benefit. It will reveal the close bond and mutual affection that exists between Indians and Pakistanis. That is what should be allowed to truly define the relationship between our countries.

There has lately been some talk about reviving bilateral series between India and Pakistan. I would love to see that. I dearly hope it happens.

You predicted you'd take a ten-wicket haul in Cape Town last year before the start of the match. How did you feel it coming?
The first thing I do whenever I arrive at any ground is to go look at the pitch. At the start of the Cape Town Test, a commentator and a TV cameraman were standing there doing a pitch report. When I saw the surface I couldn't help rubbing my hands in glee. The camera managed to get a shot of me rubbing my hands together. It appeared to be a pitch tailor-made for me. I can't explain it in words and I can't tell you what I saw in that pitch that made me feel this way, but I sensed I would be taking wickets.

It was just this realisation that arose from somewhere deep inside. It just happens that way sometimes in cricket. If you're a batsman, there are days when you'll play your first scoring shot and right away you can sense you'll be making a hundred today. That's the kind of feeling that Cape Town pitch gave me. I took ten wickets in that game, so it proved correct.

Did you lose faith in technology in cricket after Sachin Tendulkar was not given out off your bowling in the 2011 World Cup?
I was left dumbfounded when Hawk-Eye gave Tendulkar not out in the semi-final in Mohali. As I understand it, the way the system was set up back then, it was controlled by a producer who could influence the images. Now it has been improved and the technical people are required to present all the available angles to the third umpire without editing.

I am telling you: Sachin was 100% out. He was lbw. As far as I am concerned, it did not reflect the truth of the event. In fact, this is not just my view, it is what the entire cricket world thinks. But we move on and so does the technology. I believe it is evolving and learning from its mistakes. I am fine with it.

What encouraged you to start a cricket academy in Faisalabad?
Pakistan has immense cricketing talent but we lack proper facilities. This is where the PCB should place its energies and focus. My effort to establish a properly equipped and organised cricket academy is also motivated by this concern. I am eager to get it done while I am still active internationally. I know nobody will give me the time of day after I retire. So time is short and I need to be efficient and take advantage of the opportunity. The Faisalabad authorities and the leadership of the Agricultural University have been most helpful. I am extremely grateful to them.


Saeed Ajmal in his delivery stride, Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, 1st day, Dubai, October 23, 2013
"If I find that a batsman is uncomfortable against the doosra, I'll bowl exactly that to him, even if I end up bowling ten doosras in a row" © AFP
Enlarge

The country used to be known for its fast bowlers but your success might change that.
I would agree that the quality of seam bowlers from Pakistan has declined somewhat. I think the reason is that we have started making green and bowler-friendly wickets in domestic matches. In the old days, the wickets were dead and bowlers had to try hard to succeed. They were forced to learn tricks and skills. After all this toil they would come into the international arena and find helpful wickets and they would be able to dominate easily. Now the situation is reversed. Our bowlers are being raised on seaming surfaces. They perform adequately on green pitches, but if they come across a batting wicket they are unable to adjust and end up getting badly punished. I would advise the PCB to favour batting surfaces in our domestic set-up. It will certainly be good for the bowlers - both spinners and seamers - and I am sure it will produce a few great batsmen too.

What have been the highs and lows of your career so far?
The best moment of my career, I will say, is the 3-0 Test whitewash over England in the UAE in early 2012.

There have, of course, been a number of bad moments too. Losing last year's Cape Town Test against South Africa, despite my ten wickets, was a terrible blow. There is the ODI against South Africa in Sharjah last year, where I took four wickets and we had a modest target to chase, but we had an awful collapse, losing the last six batsmen for only 16 or 17.

And of course, there is the last over I bowled to Michael Hussey in the 2010 World T20 semi-final.

But I would say the absolute worst match of my career was a Test against West Indies in the summer of 2011. I took 11 wickets in that game. Despite conceding a first-innings lead, we had a reasonably modest fourth-innings target and we still lost. That hurt deeply. It still hurts when I think about it. I had this bagful of wickets but it gave me no real sense of achievement.

How do you expect Pakistan to do in the 2015 World Cup?
The next World Cup remains less than a year away. I have a feeling its location in Australia and New Zealand is going to suit us. My prediction is we are going to do well. Our batsmen have a flair for playing shots on bouncy wickets. They love to cut, for example. The Akmal brothers Umar and Kamran, opener Ahmad Shehzad, even Hafeez, and the newcomer Sohaib Maqsood - they are all happy on bouncy tracks. They all love it when the ball comes quickly onto the bat.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Coolcapricorn on (June 3, 2014, 10:25 GMT)

As an Indian fan, would love to see Ajmal in the IPL showcasing his talent & being one of the top bowlers in the world. The IPL would be far enriched if Pakistani players like him are included once again. With the changes in political leadership in both India & Pakistani, let us hope this happens at the soonest.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (June 2, 2014, 23:20 GMT)

nice interview from a great man and great player. He deserves a great appreciation for his services to cricket as well as for Pakistan. He is working a great cause of making a cricket academy in his home town. I hope people come up and help him. He is surely a modern day cricket icon.

Posted by   on (June 2, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

Regarding the Sachin Tendulkar dismissal, he was asked the question by the interviewer and gave his opinion. HE IS NOT CRYING. He ends by saying that HE IS FINE BY IT.

OK

Posted by Reggie_Boss on (June 2, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

Hawk Eyes explanation of his dismissal - http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc_cricket_worldcup2011/content/current/story/509796.html

Posted by Fahii on (June 1, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

Arguably he is the best spinner world cricket has ever produced....nice to read his interview

Posted by   on (May 31, 2014, 19:21 GMT)

Ajmal's a top guy, always a good interview in print or TV. I love his steadfastness to his captain (Misbah's another top guy too). It must really hurt to play for your country but never play in your country. Of course he cannot talk too much about why because his life might be at risk... think about how difficult that might be as a cricketer to have to deal with.

The answer about why the fast bowlers aren't so good now is very interesting and contrasts with why people say Indian fast bowlers or English spinners aren't good. It sounds like the traditional Pakistani pitches were just as fast bowling unfriendly as the Indian ones... Proves that innovative, hard working cricketers will find a way to succeed *because of* adverse conditions.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2014, 5:56 GMT)

Fantastic interview, I love Ajmal's attitude to life, very inspirational.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2014, 5:40 GMT)

We all Love Saeed Ajmal he is our hero some times he bowls very badly but its very rare. he is our Match winner

Posted by Rahul17_1983 on (May 31, 2014, 3:59 GMT)

I think he is entitled to his opinion but I believe it is just the Grapes are sour.Sachin was no way LBW

Posted by   on (May 31, 2014, 2:52 GMT)

Highest of respect to Ajmal and what has he done for the world of cricket but...Get over the "Sachin's dismissal" for Allah's sake. And then you guys do not even regard how great a batsman he is. Speaking repeatedly about "I got Sachin's wicket but technology saved him" only speaks of how highly ya'll regard him and his wicket.

Posted by Lachy7 on (May 30, 2014, 23:23 GMT)

Great interview, When he talks about how he hasn't been able to play a test match in his home country. It made me think about how currently in Perth, Western Australia, we're all complaining about losing the WACA test. After this interview it really puts things into prospective of just how lucky we are in Australia.

Posted by bohurupi on (May 30, 2014, 20:58 GMT)

"I would say 90% of the time cricket makes you cry, but the 10% that forms the good parts is truly worth it" a great comment indeed. One of the best interviews that have appeared in Cricinfo in recent times.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

I never saw batsman's as much worried from 3 great spinners Warne, Murli and Saqlin as much they are worried from Ajmal. In my opinion Ajmal is a Top Contender for all time best spinner in cricket history, either you accept or not but its a truth.

Playing test at age of 32 he is too much good still now, what a genius he would have been if he had played at 22. Cricket lovers missed a true genius.

Posted by Ankur_The_Wizard on (May 30, 2014, 18:46 GMT)

What an interview !! :) Honest and the most humble kind, and this man is the number one spinner in the world. We all love you Saeed, Love from India !! I hope he continues to play for atleast another 5 years,this generation of cricket is devoid of true entertainers like we used to ave in the 90s e.g. Mcgrath,Sachin,Lara ,Wasim,Waqar,Donald,Rhodes,Warne,Sanath,Ambrose,Dravid,Gough,Flintoff but tis generation atleast have Ajmal,Kohli,Dhoni ,Umar etc. Thank God for that !!

Posted by Ragav999 on (May 30, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

This is one of the best interviews I have read involving a cricketer. Ajmal will be remembered as a great bowler and great human being by true cricket fans. It is fantastic to see the commitment he has towards his captain.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 15:29 GMT)

An excellent interview of The master of Doosra don't miss it, you'll love it.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

That is one of the best interview i have read on this forum. Special Thanks to Mr. Umar Farooq for giving us a such a nice interview. Loved Ajmal's answers and thankyou saeed ajmal for mentioning University of Agriculture Faisalabad I proudly say its my uni where i got my Mphil. I met saeed ajmal there twice. cricinfo publish....Cheers

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

I particularly didn't like him after he made a comment on sachin's retirement. But his answers to questions on hafeez and misbah had some positive impact on me. That will change the way i look at him from here for sure. Hafeez, Misbah and Ajmal from here onwards will be ones i look up to from here.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

its sad that ajmal came in very late. the selectors failed to recognize his talent. good bowler and good human being. already serving pakistan cricket well and with his academy. hope he playes few international games on his home ground before he retires.

imran khan was a great captain and had great leadership skills. misbah is no match to him but misbah did great job. his record is a good one. and when we compare current team with those of imran era, we can hardly point out 1 or 2 players of that quality so that makes misbah's contributions more important.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

A great interview by Legend Seed Ajmal.It is helpful for any person of every field of life as he tells how to continue struggle in bad times of life,never disappoint and dont make the good present painful by remembering the cursed past, It will give you pain. By the way a great legend,A great sportsman and a great human being of my country.I salute you sir on your services for Pakistan and hope for the best that one day you will be able to play cricket in your homeland Iqbal Niaz stadium Faislabad.

Posted by flickspin on (May 30, 2014, 11:30 GMT)

when bowling to left hander bowling off spin, i try and bowl full and on off stump with the ball turning away, this means aiming my target out side off.

the batsmen can get caught behind by the keeper or slips or run past one and get stumped

when bowling to right handers i try and bowl on off stump. it also makes the doosra more effective

i used to aim a foot or 2 in front of the batsmen now i aim at the base of off stump, it cut down on short balls, but has increased full balls

i dont have the accuracy of test bowlers, and have bowled to players who can slog me at will even when i bowl doosra's

which gives me more respect for swann,lyon and ajmal

i also bowl legspin and bill o'rielly's (leg spin at slow medium pace) i can bowl flippers wrong un's and top spinners and i also have a inswinger and bouncer

i bowl bill o'rielly's at a fuller length and the same with my leg breaks,

thiers nothing better than out thinking batsmen,

bowling is far more enjoyable than batting

Posted by CricStaah on (May 30, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

You have got to love this guy. A proper happy go lucky chap with class oozing out him. I think we can safely say that he is defo the best and most dangerous spinner in world cricet at the moment with the ability to change a game. its a shame pakistan dont have more down to earth players who actually perform on the international stage. All of their players become stars before they actualy achieve anything - esp the batsmen! i would say the ony player in the current Pak team who could make it into any sort of world 11.

No doubt someone is going to say Afridi at which point I LOL and go to the next comment!!!

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 11:16 GMT)

fantastic bowler, sheer pleasure seeing him rip through batsmen, easily the best spinner ive seen. in my opinion hes better than warne..

Posted by flickspin on (May 30, 2014, 11:11 GMT)

i would like to spend a hour with ajmal, to learn from him and his doosra

i can bowl the jonny gleeson ball and a doosra (the jonny gleeson ball turns more than my other doosra)

i find bowling to left handers you have to bowl a fraction fuller and get them driving with the ball turning away, if its short the left hander has a free cut shot

i find it harder bowling doosra's to left handers.

bowling to right handers i enjoy when they skip down the wicket rather than playing back.

all the ball has to do is bounce or turn with the off spinner, you can get a inside edge, with a doosra the batsmen can run past the ball or get not middle a slog down the wicket.

they say that the classic off spinner delivery is bowling batsmen through the gate left by the gap between bat and pad, i get very few wickets this way ( swann,lyon and ajmal gets wickets in this way all the time)

i bowl a bit slower than international bowlers i think i bowl 75kmph where swann,lyon and ajmal bowl 85kmph

Posted by 2jono on (May 30, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

Reading this interview , makes me realize Saeed Ajmal is not only a champion Spinner (which we all know) but also a special quality human being that will do very well when he retires from playing , both in the commentary box and as a writer . Its not easy to be so Talented and Pure Class at the same time , not many achieve that double !

Posted by Ab_ki_baar_Pakistan on (May 30, 2014, 10:18 GMT)

Ajmal a Great Gentle man. Whole nation is proud of your wonders that you have done for Pakistan Cricket. I just love your character, enthusiam, body language, agression that you do on the field. Salute to you Sir Saeed Ajmal !!!

Posted by AP_88 on (May 30, 2014, 9:54 GMT)

The only player in the current Pakistan team worthy of the tag 'Legend'. Great player, plays with pride and passion, ultimate team man and above all a humble and honest human being. I am proud to see Ajmal represent the Pakistan cricket team.

Posted by d_ban on (May 30, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

One of the best candid interviews i hv evr read...

Posted by Ab_ki_baar_Pakistan on (May 30, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

Khurram S Chaudhry @ Thanks for praisng me. You can read my previous comment, that Imran Khan is the best Pak Captain till date but Misbah comes second after Imran Khan. Just look at the players that Misbah is having in his team still Misbah has managed wins. But if you look the players that Imran khan had in his team, Imran was blessed with the quality players like Javed Miandad, Wasim, Waqar, Aqib, Saqlain etc. You just can't ignore Misbah & the wonders that he has done for Pakistan Cricket.

Posted by mm44 on (May 30, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

Brilliant thoughts..... well done Ajmal

Posted by Z.Saleem on (May 30, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

Ajmal bhai is the best - great person and top bowler!

Posted by CodandChips on (May 30, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

A truly excellent bowler. One of the few players to have mastered all 3 formats. An absolute delight to watch (except when England play him- then he's just a big nuisance).

They way he and Abdur Rehman ripped apart my beloved England side, number 1 in the world at the time, was special.

Comes across very well in this interview.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

Love Ajmal!! So honest, frank and intelligent (you get to often see the first two qualities in Pak cricketers but rarely the 3rd one). Wish him all the best in the future, and hope to see him in the IPL.

Regarding the Sachin dismissal, it was an off-spinner bowled and not a doosra so I wasn't surprised to see the ball miss the leg-stumps.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 8:32 GMT)

Very sensible interview. He always comes up with good thoughts. Surprised to know that he was a fast bowler in his teens. He is very true about the captaincy thing. Each time pakistan loses its always blamed on captain and not praised for the wins. so its a hard task and considering other issues like dressing room politics, i think he is absolutely right to not accept it and focus on his game. Have to agree with his comments about misbah.

Though i think Imran achieved more as a leader but we also have to see what caliber they both have. and what players they have, You can hardly compare 1 or 2 players from current side with likes of those 11 playing during imran era. Some one mentioned Mohsin khan for 3-0 vs England.Well pak lost t20 & white washed in odis to a weaker England team under Mohsin as well. If giving some one credit for win then have to put some for lose on him.

@Ab_ki_baar_Pakistan: agreed with you.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

I admire Ajmal a lot. He is the world's best modern day spinner. He is a gentleman with high sportsmanship and a total team man.The Hawkeye decision on sachin at mohali cleared showed a lack of precision in technology.

But coming to IPL, he says he only misses the financial rewards.Many of the International bigwigs playing in the ipl have stated openly that ipl is the best domestic tournament in the world. But I just cant understand why pak players dont accept the quality and magnitude involved with IPL. It is not just the money that makes IPL a big success.It has a huge fan base almost like a world t20.

It is unfair that the Pak players are unable to play in a tournament as big as IPL. Hope things change in future.

Posted by kentjones on (May 30, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

Wonderful interview by Mr. Ajmal. He is a good representative for his country. His comments about Misbah are certainly correct. I admire his qualities as a team man. He has the right temperament for the game and for life in general. Mr. Ajmal all the best to you. Alll the best to Pakistan. Your country produces some of the most talented and exciting players in the world!

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 8:02 GMT)

Howkeye was coorect on Sachin lbw decision bcz if Ajmal had bowled dosra to Sachin he would have been lbw but since it was actually an off spinner that struck him on middle stump on front foot hence should have gone down the leg side simple

Posted by S.Anand on (May 30, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

I am from India and like Ajmal very much. He is a great bowler to watch and does well in all pitches. He is doing currently well in England for Worcestershire. Well said by Ajmal on Misbah 'If he is batting, it gives me heart that I will have runs to bowl at'. I really like the way Misbah bats and most of the times, he ended being a lone fighter. I would like to see Pakistani cricketers in IPL and India-Pak series regularly. The time is not too far off.

Posted by Ab_ki_baar_Pakistan on (May 30, 2014, 7:42 GMT)

Ajmal Quoted, "As a bowler it pleases me greatly to see Misbah standing at the crease. If he is batting, it gives me heart that I will have runs to bowl at". Very rightly said. MISBAH we Love You.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 7:36 GMT)

Great contributor for Pakistan cricket and awesome entertainer also.watched him few years ago form boundary lines in Pakistan while playing domestic. Lovely views about current scenarios. Will love to watch him in his home ground Faisalabad.

Posted by Ab_ki_baar_Pakistan on (May 30, 2014, 6:58 GMT)

Nadeem1976 @ My question to you, You said Pakistan won 3-0 against England because of Mohsin Khan not because of MISBAH. After the test matches there was 5 match ODI series and Pak lost 5-0 to England. The coach was Mohsin Khan, please tell me Pakistan lost because of Misbah or Mohsin Khan? The problem with our public is if Pak wins a match then it's somebody else not Misbah & if Pak looses a match then it's only Misbah. Misbah a Great Leader but comes second after Imran Khan, look at his win %. His win % is second best in Pak as a captain after Imran Khan. Misbah is most consistent, reliable, educated, sensible, calm, composed, in short a GREAT LEADER. MISBAH please keep the good work up.

Posted by Aaryabhatta on (May 30, 2014, 6:35 GMT)

Nice guy,superb bowler..we all love you in India

Posted by MSU_BULLDOG on (May 30, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

Not since the days of Imran and Wasim have we seen a Pakistani player who can articulate his thoughts so well. Sounds like a very genuine person. I am very impressed. I fully enjoyed reading his responses. All the very best Saeed against everyone (except India), sorry I have to say that!

On the topic of Misbah - I think if there is one world class batsman who performs consistently in the Pakistani line up that is Misbah. Regardless of the format. I am not sure why people in Pakistan are on his case all the time.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 5:29 GMT)

It is almost a feeling of relief when a Pakistani cricketer speak sense... Thanks to Misbah, Hafeez and Ajmal there is still some sanity.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (May 30, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

I rate Ajmal as great cricketer and a very honest person. He has played extremely well for Pakistan in last 5 years. He said that Misbah contribution are bigger than Imran khan is not true. I understand Misbah took captaincy in bad situation but Imran khan left amazing legacy after his retirement. WC win. Wasim, Waqar, Inzi, Saeed, Ijaz, Malik, Moeen, Mushtaq, Rashid were all able to become Legends. Other than Ajmal Misbah is not able to give any great player to Pakistan under his captaincy and leadership. I know Misbah is great friend of Ajmal that is why Ajmal is biased about Misbah but Afridi showed more aggression under his captaincy than Misbah in his entire tenure. The 3-0 win against Eng was because of Mohsin khan as coach not Misbah as captain.

Posted by Giffenman on (May 30, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

I am impressed by Saeed Ajmal and his attitude to life in general and cricket in particular after reading this interview. May his tribe increase.

Posted by ABLcric on (May 30, 2014, 5:18 GMT)

very sensible comments and views. he sounds very mature and positive. This is the positive attitude that we seriously lack in our cricketers and cricket administration in Pakistan. Though, he refuses to become the captain, that's fine, but he will be a good cricket administrator after he retires. He thinks logically and reasonably. very impressed by his comments. His 90 and 10 percent analysis is also true for life in reality and not just cricket. May Allah bless you and your family and you be happy and healthy for your entire life.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

He is a sensible guy .Hope he gets a role in PCB after retirement .They will need him .Pakistani fans need to stop criticizing misbah .Even your countrys best bowler says that he has faith that he will get a good score to defend when misbah is batting .The other batsmen in pakistan are not of the level of inzy anwar and co till now .The likes of misbah and vettori will hardly be remembered as good captains just because other players were not good enough at their time .Umran Khan ponting dhoni had good players in their team and so they were remembered as best captains .It is unfortunate.

Posted by Jahanzaib_Hyder on (May 30, 2014, 3:17 GMT)

One Of The Interesting Life And Carrier.... Enjoyed By Reading It

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