Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has announced that he is eager to “play for three to four years more” after his bowling action was found to be legal once again.
After being banned from bowling in September, Ajmal underwent a lot of remedial work on his action, which subsequently led to him being allowed to bowl in international matches once again.
Since he was withdrawn from the World Cup, Ajmal is now looking to make his international comeback when Pakistan take on Bangladesh in April-May.
“I am really happy that finally my action is cleared and all the hard work has paid dividends,” he said. “I have no intention to retire and I want to play for three to four years more for Pakistan.
“If an emergency arises and I am required, then I am ready to also go to the World Cup but my preference is to ready myself for a comeback against Bangladesh
“It is most disappointing I went through this crisis before the World Cup. I am just happy to be cleared. I have to still do more work on my modified action and new deliveries. I have set myself a target of trying to return to international cricket in Bangladesh.”
Ajmal admitted that being banned from bowling was one of the toughest things that has happened to him in his career.
“It was really hard but I never gave up and even with my modified action I was confident I can play again,” he said. “I can understand their concern but I have worked hard on improvising my deliveries and I have developed a strong carrom ball and some other deliveries. I have started playing outdoors and it is good to see I still retain the same bounce, pace and zip in my bowling.”
Ajmal is also hoping that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will complete building their own biomechanics lab at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore at some point in the near future.
“They are saying it will be completed by June,” he said. “It is much required as it will allow our bowlers to deal with bowling action issues in advance and be confident. The ICC’s new rules on actions is very stringent.”
When asked who will win when India and Pakistan face each other on February 15, Ajmal said: “They have both lost their recent matches but I know when they play against each other it will be on a different level and since both are balanced teams, I will go with Pakistan. It appears Pakistan have the best chance of beating India in a World Cup match this time.”