Pakistan’s veteran off-spinner Saeed Ajmal is eyeing a comeback in the national side and considering the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) in UAE as a stepping stone for that.
Saeed Ajmal was a supplementary player for Islamabad United in the inaugural season of PSL, but, could not represent Islamabad United in all of their matches because of an injury he sustained while training. However, the reigning champions have picked the Magician as a full time player this time.
Ajmal believes that Pakistan have not found a quality off-spinner since he was dropped, so he has an opportunity to don Green colour once again.
“It’s unfortunate that we haven’t had an offspinner since I was out, which is why I believe I still have a chance to make it,” Ajmal told ESPNcricinfo in Dubai
The 39-year old is hoping that this year’s PSL will change his fate and he is working extremely hard for that.
“I am working hard to ensure this PSL is a turning point for me. T20 cricket is difficult with lots of ups and downs, but I am ready, and hopefully this event will be a step to the national team. Pakistan desperately need an off-spinner and nobody seems to have appeared to fill my gap for years. I have not given up and all I can do is hard work,” he said.
Saeed Ajmal last represented Pakistan against Bangladesh in April 2015 after remodelling his bowling action. His action was called suspicious in September 2014 and he was pulled out of World Cup 2015 in December of preceding year.
Ajmal made an unimpressive comeback against Bangladesh where he was expansive and ineffective, afterwards he was dropped from the national side.
It felt like the Magician has lost his magic with his new round-arm action, however he feels that he needed some time to master his new action.
“Actually I never really got a proper chance to develop my new action and that only comes by playing consistently,” he said. “Apart from the two[three] Bangladesh matches I did not get a chance, and you can’t judge a player by one or two matches.”
He further told in the interview that age is a big issue in Pakistan, which should not be a criteria for selecting players for national team.
“Age probably is a problem in Pakistan,” he said. “What exactly you want from a player is performance and if a player is helping the team to win then who cares about the age… I want to perform regardless of the age; I don’t really think about it. What I need to do is to stay fit and keep taking wickets.”