Pakistan news April 14, 2012

Ajmal optimistic of playing till 2015 World Cup

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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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on April 15, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Name that acadmey "DOOSRA".. good luck saeed.. you are pride of pakistan.. honest and humble x

  • yuva19 on April 15, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    I first saw him at WC 2011 and how he rattled Sachin, though Sachin scored 80+ he's unable to read his variations throughout the innings. From that day he became my favorite spinner and UAE tour against England greatly raised his reputation. Then came the Asia cup again Sachin was foxed !! I never knew a bowler who has taken Sachin's wicket these ways. - by a greatest Sachin fan from India.

  • Venki_indian on April 15, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    @MaruthuDelft fact remains fact...how can we call him a great in such a short span...consistancy that makes greats over a long run...

    @dadsuto i loved pakisthan bowling greats Wasim, Waquar,Imran. Ajmal is simply not great..

  • ExplicitPlatinum on April 15, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    *If my comment didn't go through due to my internet connection then I will post this again but short and sweet.* My fellow Pak fans, the pace department has fast bowlers who are immensely talented. Bowlers like Sadaf Hussain, Mohammad Talha, Mohammad Rameez, Bilawal Bhatti, Anwar Ali (And many more) are waiting to get a debut because of their talent! I heard on ARY News that Zaka Ashraf is trying to get Mushtaq Ahmed as the bowling coach for Pak. So anyone who says that "The Pak pace department look bleak", then you are wrong by a mile. Junaid Khan is a great talent (5 wickets against SL) and Wahab Riaz is rusty so we have to be patient. As for Ajmal, I think Yasir Shah is a better choice to groom. Ajmal can even teach Yasir how to bat considering Yasir being ablr to bat a bit.

  • nickcarter80 on April 15, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    "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." I hope Murali see this comments by Ajmal. He also has the responsibility of making a good spinner for SL, rather than waste time in plying dirty money IPL cricket.

  • saadfarrukh1 on April 15, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    he is a great man just feel sorry for himlost many valueable years of his cricket

  • S.Alis on April 15, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    Ajmal just keep up your fitness. i know you can play 6 more years easily. All true cricket fans want to see your enthusiasm.

  • on April 15, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Ajmal is not only a great spinner but a very good human being as well. He is the first guy to cheer the person who is said. But I am having a feeling for Raza Hasan, due to the shadow of great players he may not get enough chances to play. Raza is an excellent spinner who even bowls last over or super over of the match. I hope Raza get enough chances. He is the next Saqlain.

  • saabir786 on April 15, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    i think you cannot ctiticise the whole indian people there are people in india who loves him like me.he is my fav.cricketer in the world and he can surely palyed for 5 more years

  • saabir786 on April 15, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    he is the best spinner in the world at the moment he should play for another 6 years.he is talking about abdul rehman who is also 32 yrs of age.pak should groom some new spinners i heard raza hasan is one of them.ajmal is not only a great player but a great human being as well. i have very high regard for him.he is my favourite player in the pak side i love him

  • Dadosuto on April 15, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    How can these Indians compare the greats of Pakistan's with their batties. We have wornderful bowlers and they have some good batters (buttyboys). They really have this inferiority complex.

  • Iddy on April 15, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    Too all criticising his action and how long he has played etc. The clear fact is that his action has been proven legit time and time again and is icc cleared. Do you think he would be playing for pakistan if his action was illegal? The world must accept that pakistan have another spinning legend yes a legend and the best in the world right now after the likes of mustaq ahmed and saqlain. If Ajmal was playable then nobody would question him. He has achievied so much so quickly and simply the best spin bowler.

  • on April 15, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    a great personality, a legend in making ,and a modest person last but not least a great spinner the world have ever seen ,who cares about his country , thinks about other players , salute to your geeat thinking , may allaha bestow you with utmost blessings , maszh kashmir.

  • MaruthuDelft on April 15, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    Hey Indians( @Bhaskar Bordoloi , @ Nikhil Desai, @Venki_indian) you never get it don't you? It is not only Ajmal's success but the person, the way he looks at his role, his passion, his style on the field and off of it, his steadfastness in troubled Pakistan....He is so exciting to watch. Actually he is more exciting than Murali ever was. Ajmal has touched greatness already. His action is not pure so no comparison with true greats but Ajmal too is a great like Murali and Kumble.

  • therock9211 on April 15, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    @ Bhaskar Bordoloi , sorry Baji and Anil Kumble had and already playing, so no need to groom any more chukers ;)

  • hm4790 on April 15, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @Bhaskar Bordoloi, Haha, You sure know about chuckers don't you? I guess coming from a country who produced a chucker called Chuckbajhan Singh who has chucked out over 400 wickets tells a story. Ajmal is the best spinner in the world. Haters will hate. P.s. Where is Chuckbajhan Singh these days?

  • adeelbashir23 on April 15, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    "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" implies that he's an amateur patriot cricketer. I'm lovin it

  • on April 15, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Ajmal is fit, happy and has plenty of energy, he can go till he is 45 if he wants. No problem. Serve your country Ajmal.

  • khurramsch on April 15, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    yes he is a very good bowler & already proved a lot. & yes i agree from past 2 years & so on. spinners have made very good point in inspiring youngsters. in all 3 formats & top 10 rankings there are always 4-6 spinners which is very encouraging sign & surely tables have turn now. fast bowlers are exciting but spiners have really impressed.

  • wnwn on April 15, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    I would like to see Ajmal play until he is 40 because he has been a late starter to the International scene and only family reasons could prevent this. He should play only tests and a reduced number of odi's to help prolong his career.

  • KarachiKid on April 15, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    He has got a brilliant attitude towards life and game and thats his key strength. Remember Mazhar Majeed also named Saeed Ajmal but in a positive manner, that he is not amongst the 7 players he had in his hands because he is a religious guy. He also said that Afridi is not amongst these 7 because of some other reason, I cant recall what. In any case, its not a surprise that these two are the most successful Pakistani cricketers in last 3 years.

  • on April 15, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Chucker...hopes to groom another chucker before he reitres....

  • SyedAbidHussain on April 15, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    He can play till 40 years of age. If he does so, he will pick up 400 wickets in tests for sure and he should try for it.However, the future of Pakistan's bowling department looks bleak. Hafiz, Afridi, Abdur Rahman, Ajmal, Cheema all are on the wrong side of 30 and Gul is in late 20's. I hope they give chance to Anwar Ali, and give a comeback to Aamer. Junaid needs to learn how to bring back a ball into right handers, else he is a waste. Wahab Riaz needs to train hard, he is too inconsistent.

  • sherishahmir on April 15, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    V rightly said that no regret over late entry in international cricket and what Ajmal is today is more important for him, an inspiring crickter and asset to Pak and world cricket.

  • gab.pk on April 15, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    People questioning Saeed's credentials and his action are just jealous like Bob Willis and Micheal Holding.

    I love his attitude and perhaps he is the only person in current lineup who is thinking about future of pakistan cricket rather than just focusing on extending his career( Misbah's, younis etc can take a leaf out of his book).

    Saeed may not be regretting his lost time but as a pakistani fan, its really painful to see a talent like him being wasted for long even after saqlain departure , kudos to salahuddin n his team for bring saeed ajmal in pakistani team.

  • on April 15, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    Great Bowler... All the best ..

  • on April 15, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    This guy as only had a good last two year and everyone is making him out to be a legend, what a joke.

  • on April 15, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    If he could be fit inshallah he will play

  • Sinhaya on April 15, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    @Nadeem1976, I fully agree with you. After that disastrous over in the T20 world cup, Ajmal has been a non stop success except against England in the recent ODIs in UAE. As a Lankan, we look forward to seeing Ajmal in our shores in June. By the way, we have a good off spinner called Sachithra Senanayake, but sadly due to political interference in our cricket, he hardly gets any chance. Useless Suraj Randiv is playing instead of him. Looking forward to an exiting series when Pakistan come here in June.

  • Venki_indian on April 15, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    he thinks high of him self, just 20 tests and 64 ODIs wont make him great...long way to go..just a good bowler for now..

  • Sinhaya on April 15, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    @SangakaraFan, what the hell are you talking?? Ajmal has spun the ball perfectly well in UAE, England, West Indies and New Zealand. He will rip through the South Africans when Pakistan tour SA end of this year. Ajmal is the best spinner in the world today without a doubt. Ajmal's doosra is undreadable. Pakistan are the last team to have beaten England in a test match in England, which occurred at the Oval in 2010 thanks to almighty Saeed Ajmal!!!

  • cric_fanatics on April 15, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    Now only if ajmal could BOWL.

  • on April 15, 2012, 1:04 GMT

    definitely the best spinner in the game today he and graeme swann have ensured that there is life after warne,murali,kunble in international cricket as there were much talk that spin is a dying art.

  • El_Toro_Loco on April 15, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    C'mon Pakistan needs genuine fast bowlers like Wasim, Waqar & Shoaib to spearhead the attack & then spinners to suffocate the opposition in any format of the game. I hope Shoaib or Waqar can replicate the same of what Ajmal plans to develop spinners in Pakistan. Ciao...

  • on April 15, 2012, 0:57 GMT

    Great bowler. I like his simplicity. Apna Paa Ajmal. No Over acting like many others.

  • on April 15, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    All the best Ajmal bhai...ur a treat to watch, your passion for the art of spin bowling is fantastic and contagious...wish we had more cricketers like yourself who are just so passionate about what they do and are not corrupted..

  • Nadeem1976 on April 14, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    Credit goes to Mike Hussey for making Ajmal that good bowler today. If Hussey did not hit Ajmal 24 runs in last over of T2020 WC SF in WI Ajmal would never be more determined at all.

    Ajmal i hope you play for pakistan for next 5 years and wins WC by your own in 2015. You are really the best spinner on earth.

    The ball you bowled to Sachin in Asia cup match to get his wicket was priceless. You are a jem.

  • on April 14, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    Ajmal - The difference between winning and losing

  • ehkhan on April 14, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    @SangakaraFan atleast appreciate the fact that the guy is a one of the best bowlers around at the moment, if not the greatest of all. Where did you get this One Series against England thing????? His debut was agianst Srilanka in which he took 5 wickets and has been taking wickets against all oppositions since then...that's the reason that he is on the top of the table in almost all forms. There is not even a single test in which he went wicketless... (only 2 innnings out of the 39 he played in which he did not take a wicket...) .. Get your records straight please... Why can't you guys simply appreciate a talent...

  • on April 14, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    Whatever, there would be no other Ajmal again...

  • on April 14, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    Good Luck for ur next match and T20 2012 world cup and matches and ICC World Cup 2015! Insha allah u will get quick wickets in each match... Please dont let us down! CORNERED TIGERS!!!! PAKISTAN ZIANDABAD!!! HAIL KING OF SPINNER AJMAL!!!! I AM YOUR BIGGEST FAN...

  • Iddy on April 14, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    Ajmal is one of the great spin bowlers the world has ever seen. His action is fine according to icc so lets stop bringing this is up everytime he produces some majic on the field. In comparison to warne and murli he has not played as long but has achievied so much so quickly so he is one of the great.

  • pak78 on April 14, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    go ajmal v love u what a player and character keep on going 4 as long as u can fella.

  • on April 14, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    my hero in off spin bowling

  • on April 14, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    in every era there is a bowler who is unplayable or best of their time.... ajmal is one of them....when he'll retire people gonna talk about him that how good he was :)

  • Afridipak on April 14, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    Best of luck ajmal plzzzz play an other 5 or 6 years

  • SangakaraFan on April 14, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Ajmal thinks that he already a legend..helllloooo you had just one good series. Let see if his ball spins in SA or Australia. Any spinner can spin the ball in sub continent wickets. Chill Ajmal, we will see how good you are in one year.

  • on April 14, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    go ajmal !! well done man !! stay fit n succesful IA =)

  • MaruthuDelft on April 14, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    His action is not great so he can't be compared with those who did it with purity. For the same reason Murali should not be considered at the same level with great bowlers like Warne and Lillee. However Ajmal besides being an exciting bowler cuts a really engaging personality. I like him.

  • tarun_scb on April 14, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    he is not 1 of d best,he is definitely d best

  • iBilal on April 14, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    it has been ages since spin bowlers inspired Pakistani youth. After England series, my 8yr old nephew got excited, tossing, spinning and turning the bowl in his hands, imagining himself to be Saeed Ajmal. Who knows, it might be a paradigm shift in Pakistan, you may see more Ajmals than Wasims in next generation.

  • SaadS123 on April 14, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    You certainly have sir, inspired people to take up and enjoy the art of spin bowling.

    But do try to stay as long as you can.

  • Stark62 on April 14, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Forget about Raza Hasan because his just another T20 specialist like Ramiz Raja jnr.

    Nayyer Abbas is the real talent and should be groomed, along with Yasir Shah.

  • GreensFan on April 14, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    All the Dua's of Pakistan's with you Ajmal Bahi.

  • tanveer131 on April 14, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    Love to hear that he consider it as his responsibility to make another Ajmal. Love you From my heart.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • tanveer131 on April 14, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    Love to hear that he consider it as his responsibility to make another Ajmal. Love you From my heart.

  • GreensFan on April 14, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    All the Dua's of Pakistan's with you Ajmal Bahi.

  • Stark62 on April 14, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Forget about Raza Hasan because his just another T20 specialist like Ramiz Raja jnr.

    Nayyer Abbas is the real talent and should be groomed, along with Yasir Shah.

  • SaadS123 on April 14, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    You certainly have sir, inspired people to take up and enjoy the art of spin bowling.

    But do try to stay as long as you can.

  • iBilal on April 14, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    it has been ages since spin bowlers inspired Pakistani youth. After England series, my 8yr old nephew got excited, tossing, spinning and turning the bowl in his hands, imagining himself to be Saeed Ajmal. Who knows, it might be a paradigm shift in Pakistan, you may see more Ajmals than Wasims in next generation.

  • tarun_scb on April 14, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    he is not 1 of d best,he is definitely d best

  • MaruthuDelft on April 14, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    His action is not great so he can't be compared with those who did it with purity. For the same reason Murali should not be considered at the same level with great bowlers like Warne and Lillee. However Ajmal besides being an exciting bowler cuts a really engaging personality. I like him.

  • on April 14, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    go ajmal !! well done man !! stay fit n succesful IA =)

  • SangakaraFan on April 14, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Ajmal thinks that he already a legend..helllloooo you had just one good series. Let see if his ball spins in SA or Australia. Any spinner can spin the ball in sub continent wickets. Chill Ajmal, we will see how good you are in one year.

  • Afridipak on April 14, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    Best of luck ajmal plzzzz play an other 5 or 6 years