Pakistan news April 14, 2012

Ajmal optimistic of playing till 2015 World Cup


Saeed Ajmal, the Pakistan offspinner, has said he will ensure that there are enough quality spinners to replace him in the national side when he retires. Ajmal, the top-ranked spinner in the ICC rankings in both Tests and ODIs, also said that he was optimistic of playing till the 2015 World Cup.

"I hope by the time I am ready to walk out, another Ajmal would be ready to take my place," Ajmal told ESPNcricinfo. "I will ensure this and it's my responsibility to do so. Pakistan has very talented players and there is no dearth of spin bowlers. There are a lot of good spinners. (Abdur) Rehman is playing and Raza Hasan is a talented boy heading in the right direction."

Ajmal, 34, made a late entry into international cricket at the age of 30 but has earned a reputation for being one of the best spinners in the world. Ajmal didn't play his first Test till he was almost 32 but has since picked up 107 wickets in 20 Tests. He said that he did not worry about having lost so much time before he got the chance to play international cricket.

"Age definitely plays a key role but I have no regret for being late into international cricket," Ajmal said. "Who knows if I had played earlier I might not have been the same Ajmal. What I am today is more important for me.

"I am currently 34 and I know my age won't let me play perhaps more than three years. But it's also a matter of fitness that can actually extend a player's life. I am optimistic that I can play at least till the 2015 World Cup before calling my time from the game."

Ajmal hoped that he had inspired enough young players to take up spin bowling. He is also planning to launch a cricket academy next year in his city Faisalabad. Ajmal recently wrecked England with his doosras and off-breaks and finished with 24 wickets in the three-Test series in the UAE.

"A lot of bowlers around the world are so much keen about the doosra and I love to help. Being a quality spin bowler is tough and it takes time to obtain results. You need to be very patient.

"A spin bowler normally does not inspire kids as compared to a fast bowler who creates an instant impact with the youngsters who want to play cricket. But I think I have inspired a lot of youngsters to play the game."

Edited by Abhishek Purohit

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SangakaraFan on April 17, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Ajmal's comment are surely egoistic and are funny. This guy has played less than 25 tests but thinks that he's great shows his egoistic nature. Ajmal has a long way to go. Rest of the world considers him an AVERAGE bowler who has doubtful action. If pakistanis thinks that he's great then I am sorry to say that the standard their cricket is very low.Good Luck Ajmal, we will see where you stand in next 2 years.

  • Badreshian on April 17, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    Jarr30 & Kavindeven... Sorry to hear comments but would respect as these are your opinions...and its not necessary to be right or wrong... I would rather highly appreciate YUVANANDA for his impartial and honest comments on Sachin Vs Ajmal. Being Pakistani I am a great fan of Sachin's talent and achievements...but literally, following him since his debut, I have never seen any spin bowler diturbing the little master in such a way.. AJMAL keep it up you are our hero and most of the cricket fans around the world loving your variation and control... We would love to see your successor more brilliant than your talents... Go green shirts...

  • dummy4fb on April 16, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    I see a lot of non-Pakistani jealous fans. He's not in the ranks of "greats" by any means. But that doesn't mean he can't think of grooming a new bowler for the future. Or the fact that he is one of the best off-spinners in the world at the moment. He performed well in England as well. We'll see how he does in South Africa. For now, he's one of the most exciting bowlers in world cricket.

  • dummy4fb on April 16, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Strange to thing Ajmal come into world cricket at a late age, why wasnt he picked in his early 20's? - Plus yasir Shah is a good bowler please get him into the International setup.

  • dummy4fb on April 16, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    great words !!! may u continue ur prolific form throughout ur career !!! <3

  • Iddy on April 15, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    Jarr30 and kavindeven. I see you both fail to accept that pakistan have the best spinner in the world. Look at his wickets and economy rate etc in the modern era of batting powerplay and yet the best struggle against him on a regular basis. I see worst bowling action elsewhere and yet Ajmal has been cleared by the icc (please read their comments on this subject) so "nuff said".

  • abbadan on April 15, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Ajmal is the one of the most talented offspinner of modern world and i also like his this sayings "I hope by the time I am ready to walk out, another Ajmal would be ready to take my place, I will ensure this and it's my responsibility to do so."

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on April 15, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    @ MaruthuDelft you are right my friend. Just like Sachin cannot be compared Viv and Bradman because Sachin wears a helmet and so is not pure like them. Well said my friend, you 100% right.

  • Jarr30 on April 15, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    Ajmal's comments baffle me. He thinks that he's GREAT by playing just 20 tests. Unfortunetly he's just a average bowler who had one good series. There are doubts about his bowling action. Maybe he meant that he's inspiring other spinners to chuck and bend his arm to get unfair advantage.

  • Romenevans on April 15, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    I hope another ajmal won't be a chucker. 'nuff said.

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