Curtains fell on the prolific cricket career of spin-wizard Saeed Ajmal with the defeat of Faisalabad in the semi-final of National T20 Championship in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.
The 40-year old bowler, who led his regional team to the semi-final of national T20, was given a guard of honour by players of Lahore Whites and Faisalabad after the game to make his farewell memorable.
Saeed had announced earlier this month that the ongoing national T20 tournament would be last of his career and he’ll hang his boots forever. Although Ajmal has made himself available for foreign leagues, it seems unlikely that he would participate any further.
Ajmal’s career remained under clouds due to his bowling action, which many kept saying not to be legal, but he always remained defiant.
He played an important role in Pakistan’s Test series win against England in 2012, which still remains one of the highlights of Ajmal’s career.
In 35 Tests played for Pakistan, Ajmal claimed 178 wickets at an average of 28.10, with ten 5-fers in innings and four 10-wickets hauls.
Ajmal was equally effective in the shorter format and took 184 wickets in 113 ODIs and 85 wickets in 63 T20Is for the country.
However, last few months of his career couldn’t justify him and that gradually pushed him out of national team.
With new players coming in, Ajmal decided to hang his boots and is will not take on the new role of coaching. He was named bowling coach of Islamabad United earlier and the bowler aims to train youngsters.
Following his farewell match, Ajmal told media that he’s looking forward to the role of coaching.
“I will now concentrate on my assignments as a coach and on my cricket academy in Faisalabad,” Ajmal told media after the match.
Ajmal said that he’s proud to have won matches for Pakistan.
“I am proud that I have represented Pakistan and contributed in my country’s wins,” he said.