|Full name||Saeed Ajmal|
14 October 1977 |
Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Bowling style||Right-arm off break|
|Test debut (cap 195)||4 July 2006 v Sri Lanka|
|Last Test||16 January 2014 v Sri Lanka|
|ODI debut (cap 171)||2 July 2008 v India|
|Last ODI||8 March 2014 v Sri Lanka|
|ODI shirt no.||50|
|Domestic team information|
|2000–07||Khan Research Laboratories|
|2009–present||Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd|
|Source: CricketArchive, 20 May 2014|
At domestic level in Pakistan he has represented Faisalabad, with whom he won the 2005 ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup; Khan Research Laboratories; and Islamabad. Ajmal made his One Day International debut for Pakistan in July 2008 at the age of 30, and a year later played his first Test. In 2009 he was reported for having a suspect bowling action, but after being cleared he helped Pakistan win the 2009 ICC World Twenty20. Ajmal played for Worcestershire as an overseas player in English domestic cricket in 2011. From November 2011 to December 2014, Ajmal has been ranked by the International Cricket Council as the number one bowler in ODIs. In December 2014, Sunil Narine took the first position of ODI from him, throwing him to the 2nd position. He is ranked at number four in ICC ranking of bowlers in T20Is, while his current ICC test bowler ranking is number 9. He is one of four test bowlers that made their debut after the age of thirty to take more than 100 test wickets, along with Clarrie Grimmett, Dilip Doshi and Ryan Harris.
On 28 January 2012, in his 20th Test, Ajmal became the quickest Pakistani to take 100 test wickets. He holds the record of leading wicket taker (85) in Twenty20 International cricket. He was signed by Adelaide Strikers for the 2012 Big Bash League in Australia.
In 2014 he was banned by the ICC because of an illegal bowling action. Saqlain Mushtaq is currently working with Ajmal to correct his bowling action.
On December 27 2014, Saeed Ajmal withdrew his name from the Pakistani World Cup squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 after he was unable to rectify his bowling action.
In the honour of his services for the country he received Sitara-e-Imtiaz by President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain on 23rd March 2015, it is the third highest civilian award of Pakistan.
Saeed Ajmal has played for Faisalabad since his debut in 1995 at the age of 18. Ajmal represented the Faisalabad Wolves in the 2005 ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup, his team won the final in which he was man of the match. When Faisalabad won the final of the ABN-AMRO Patron's Cup in March 2006 Ajmal was named the tournament's best bowler and was given a Rs 25,000 prize. He has also represented Khan Research Laboratories, who were runners-up in the final of the 2008/09 Quaid-i-Azam Trophy; though his side lost the final, Ajmal took 5/105 and 2/55 and in the process passed 250 first-class wickets. Ajmal has also played for Islamabad.
Pakistan hosted the Asia Cup in June 2008; Ajmal was included in the 15-man squad and was expected to act as a foil to Shahid Afridi's leg spin. He made his debut against India on 2 July 2008. Ajmal took a single wicket, that of Yusuf Pathan, from his ten overs while conceding 47 runs (1/47) as Pakistan won by eight wickets. before taking 2/19 in a ten-wicket victory over Bangladesh, although the team had no chance of progressing to the competition's final. In November that year Pakistan travelled to the United Arab Emirates to face the West Indies in a three-match ODI series. Ajmal and Afridi were the team's only spin options; the former took a single wicket while conceding 73 runs and Pakistan won all three matches.
Ajmal's next match the third ODI against Sri Lanka in January 2009. In April Pakistan faced Australia in the UAE in five ODIs. Playing in all five matches Ajmal took four wickets at an average of 39.50. He was then picked for the Sri Lankan series in Sri Lanka where he had made solid performances in the Test matches, being picked ahead of Danish Kaneria in two of the matches.
In April 2009, Ajmal was reported by umpires for having a suspect bowling action. An independent test the following month demonstrated that Ajmal's arm flexed within the 15 degree tolerance allowed by the International Cricket Council. Later that year, the Pakistan Cricket Board named a pool of 30 players from which they would chose their final squad for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, held in June. Initially left out, Ajmal was one of three players added to the list, replacing players who were dropped because they were contracted with the controversial Indian Cricket League. In the tournament, Ajmal partnered Afridi. Pakistan won the tournament, and Ajmal was the tournament's joint second highest wicket-taker with twelve dismissals from seven games (only Pakistan's Umar Gul took more wickets, with thirteen dismissals).
Ajmal's good form continued in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 as he was Pakistan's leading wicket taker. However despite his good form he was known for conceding three sixes to Michael Hussey in what has been hailed as the most thrilling Twenty20 match of all time as Australia were in trouble and Ajmal was the unfortunate bowler who bowled that final over.
Shortly after this the Pakistan team began a tour of England where they would face Australia in two Tests in July, and subsequently play England in four Tests and five ODIs. Danish Kaneria was preferred to Ajmal in the first match against Australia, but after Pakistan lost the selectors considered dropping the leg-spinner and choosing Ajmal. In the event, Ajmal was not selected until the second Test against England, when Kaneria was dropped because he had been ineffective. Though Pakistan lost the match by nine wickets, Ajmal took his first five-wicket haul in Tests. In Pakistan's second innings, with his team looking to set a target for England to chase, Ajmal scored 50 from 79 balls, his first half-century in Tests, before he was dismissed by fellow off spinner Graeme Swann.
During the series against England, Pakistan became engulfed in a spot fixing scandal after the fourth test. In a later secret interview it was unveiled by alleged fixer Mazhar Majeed that Ajmal, Abdul Razzaq, Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi were too difficult to bribe. He stated that Ajmal was too religious to get involved into fixing.
After the controversy and upheaval of 2010, 2011 saw Pakistan become a more consistent team. The year began with the World Cup held between February and April. Pakistan progressed to the semi-final, where they were defeated by India; playing in three of the team's matches, Ajmal took five wickets at an average of 18.60. After the World Cup, Pakistan played ten Tests, winning six and losing a single match; this saw the team win series against Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and draw with the West Indies. Ajmal finished the year with 50 wickets from 8 Tests, more than any other bowler (second on the list was India's Ishant Sharma with 43). Pakistan were also largely successful in ODIs, winning 24 out of 32. After Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 4–1 in November 2011, Ajmal climbed to the number one spot in the ICC's ODI rankings. He finished the year by taking nine wickets over two Tests in Pakistan's tour of Bangladesh.
Pakistan started 2012 with a three Test series against England in the United Arab Emirates. Ajmal was named the man of the match for the first Test in Dubai, with match figures of 10 wickets for 97 runs and a career best 7/55 in England's first innings. In the second fixture he dismissed Matt Prior to become the fastest Pakistani bowler to reach 100 wickets in Tests, taking 19 matches to accomplish the feat. The series concluded with Pakistan completing a 3–0 whitewash over England, and Ajmal was named man of the series after claiming 24 wickets at an average of 14.70.
In the immediate aftermath of the Test series, following confusion over comments from Ajmal about his bowling action in an interview to the BBC, ESPNCricinfo published detailed information on the issue after a thorough investigation by journalist George Dobell with extensive discussion with ICC having been conducted. The resulting articles underlined the fact that Ajmal's bowling action falls well within the legal bounds set by the ICC for bowlers.
Following a career best innings haul of 7/19 for Worcestershire against Essex, the issue of Ajmal's bowling action was again raised by former England captain Michael Vaughan and current Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad. The latter opined that Ajmal's action in competitive cricket may differ from that which he used during ICC testing. However, as part of the testing procedure, match footage is used alongside videos made "in a lab" and compared to ensure it is identical. Also, umpires are able to super-impose match footage on the testing footage to check that a bowlers' action has not subsequently deteriorated. This has been done in Ajmal's case and his action was found to be identical. Ajmal contacted the ECB to request an explanation for Broad's comments.
Ajmal was signed by Worcestershire in 2011 as their overseas player. He was signed by them as their overseas player in 2014 again. He was highest wicket taker in county 2014 with 56 wickets.
|“||With HawkEye coming in, left-arm spinners slide the ball on for lbws. Offspinners get a lot of lbws from round the wicket, so you [batsman] have to work really hard, and a bloke who's got a doosra you have to work extra special hard [sic].||”|
A right-arm off spinner, Ajmal's stock delivery turns into right-handed batsman but he also frequently uses the doosra which turns the other way, and he generally bowls flatter than most off spinners. The doosra has been an effective tool for Ajmal as batsmen have often failed to pick it. Explaining his bowling style in 2012, Ajmal said "If I bowl with flight I cannot bowl well. If I bowl at a quicker speed I can then use variations in pace. If I take 70% of my wickets with the doosra why should I not bowl it? Whether you bowl a doosra or an offbreak, the ball should be bowled on the right line and one should take a wicket with it."
The International Cricket Council on 9 September 2014 banned Ajmal over his bowling action. The statement said, "An independent analysis has found the bowling action of Pakistan's off-spinner Saeed Ajmal to be illegal and, as such, the player has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect. The analysis revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations."
There's a lot of protest on this decision made by International Cricket Council. Players criticised this decision because his bowling action was tested and cleared four years ago. Saqlain Mushtaq was called up to guide him in improving his bowling action. After 45 days of training under his mentors Saqlain Mushtaq and Muhammad Akram . Ajmal was sent to England's Loughborough university by PCB on board' budgets for unofficial testing of his modified action before applying for official test with ICC. Biomechanist Mark King reported that Ajmal's bowling action has approached to 15 degree but still not cleared. Ajmal will do net practice in England for one week then board will take further decisions on Ajmal .
He was awarded with the third highest civilian award of Pakistan, Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his excellent services for the nation by President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain on 23rd March 2015
Test five-wicket hauls
|1||6 August 2010||Edgbaston, Birmingham, England||England||2||26.1||82||5||3.13||Lost|
|2||12 May 2011*||Providence Stadium, Providence, Guyana||West Indies||1||33||69||5||2.09||Lost|
|3||12 May 2011*||Providence Stadium, Providence, Guyana||West Indies||3||23.5||42||6||1.76||Lost|
|4||26 October 2011||DSC Cricket Stadium, Dubai,||Sri Lanka||3||30.5||68||5||2.20||Won|
|5||17 January 2012*||Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai||England||1||24.3||55||7||2.24||Won|
|6||22 June 2012||Galle International Stadium, Galle, Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka||1||46||146||5||3.17||Lost|
|7||13 February 2013||Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town||South Africa||2||42||96||6||2.48||Lost|
|8||3 September 2013||Harare Sports Club, Harare||Zimbabwe||2||32.2||95||7||2.92||Won|
|9||23 October 2013||Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai||South Africa||2||55.5||151||6||2.70||Lost|
|10||6 August 2014||Galle International Stadium, Galle||Sri Lanka||2||59.1||166||5||2.80||Lost|
10-wickets in a match
|1||12 May 2011||Providence Stadium, Providence, Guyana||West Indies||10||111||11||Lost|
|2||17 January 2012||Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE||England||18||97||10||Won|
|3||14 February 2013||Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa||South Africa||25||147||10||Lost|
|4||3 September 2013||Harare Sports Club, Harare||Zimbabwe||27||118||11||Won|
ODI five-wicket hauls
|1||13 February 2012||Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi||England||1||10||43||5||4.30||Lost|
|2||6 January 2013||Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi||India||1||9.4||24||5||2.48||Lost|
- "Sachin Tendulkar gains one place in ICC Test rankings". 26 June 2012.
- "England deflated but determined to be best of all time". 2 February 2012.
- Rehman stuns England to give Pakistan series, ESPNCricinfo, 28 January 2012, retrieved 28 January 2012
- T20I-Most wickets in career, ESPNCricinfo, 16 November 2013, retrieved 16 November 2013
- "Ajmal signs up with Adelaide Strikers in BBL". Wisden India. 7 November 2012.
- Samiuddin, Osman (3 May 2005). "The real showpiece". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "tt166 Karachi Dolphins v Faisalabad Wolves: ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup 2004/05 (Final)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Faisalabad Wolves bag one-day title". ESPNCricinfo. 24 March 2006. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Ajmal and Naqvi pull it back for KRL". ESPNCricinfo. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "f51480 Sialkot v Khan Research Laboratories: Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2008/09 (Final)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Pakistan include Ajmal for Asia Cup". ESPNCricinfo. 22 June 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Asia Cup – 10th match, Super Four: Pakistan v India at Karachi, Jul 2, 2008". ESPNCricinfo. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2008.
- "Pakistan thrash sorry Bangladesh". ESPNCricinfo. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2008.
- "Pakistan pick five seamers for Abu Dhabi ODIs". ESPNCricinfo. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "West Indies in United Arab Emirates 2008/09: ODI bowling for Pakistan". CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "One-Day International matches played by Saeed Ajmal". CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Australia v Pakistan ODI Series, 2009 / Records / Most wickets". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Ajmal action gets ICC's green signal". ESPNCricinfo. 24 May 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Pakistan drop ICL players from World Twenty20 list". ESPNCricinfo. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- Gollapudi, Nagraj (17 June 2009). "Gul's reverse swing is an art, says Aaqib". Cricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- McGlashan, Andrew (21 June 2009). "Afridi fifty seals title for Pakistan". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "ICC World Twenty20, 2009 / Records / Most wickets". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Aussies stun Pakistan in thriller". BBC News. 14 May 2010.
- Gollapudi, Nagraj (19 July 2010). "Ajmal tipped to replace Kaneria". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Test matches played by Saeed Ajmal". CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- Gollapudi, Nagraj (7 August 2010). "Ajmal proves his Test credentials". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "f52516 t1969 England v Pakistan: Pakistan in England 2010 (2nd Test)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- Ajmal to religious to bribe – Majeed, The News, 30 November 2010, retrieved 5 January 2012.
- Shafqat, Saad (27 December 2011). "What, no nightmares?". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Batting and fielding in ICC World Cup 2010/11 (ordered by average)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Bowling in ICC World Cup 2010/11 (ordered by wickets)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Pakistan Test results between 1 Jan 2011 and 31 Dec 2011". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Records / 2011 / Test matches / Most wickets". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Ajmal climbs to top of ODI rankings". ESPN Cricinfo. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Records / Pakistan in Bangladesh Test Series, 2011/12 / Most wickets". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- Selvey, Mike (19 January 2012). "Pakistan's Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal complete England's humiliation". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Pakistan overhaul England innings". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- Dobell, George (28 January 2012). "The spinners take flight while fans unite". ESPN cricinfo. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- Pakistan v England Test Series – 3rd Test, ESPNCricinfo, 6 February 2012, retrieved 8 February 2012.
- Pakistan v England Test Series, 2011/12 – Most wickets, ESPNCricinfo, 6 February 2012, retrieved 8 February 2012.
- Saeed Ajmal claims clarified by Pakistan Cricket Board, BBC, 6 February 2012, retrieved 8 February 2012
- The facts about Saeed Ajmal, ESPNCricinfo, 6 February 2012, retrieved 8 February 2012.
- Unravelling the mystery of Ajmal, ESPNCricinfo, 6 February 2012, retrieved 8 February 2012.
- Ajmal's career best outwits Essex. Cricinfo. 20 May 2014. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
- Ajmal seeks explanation for Broad comments. Cricinfo. 22 May 2014. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
- "MCC v Rest of the World - 5 July". Lord's. 5 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
- Farooq, Umar (6 January 2012). "Ajmal to unveil special delivery against England". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "ICC suspends Saeed Ajmal over illegal bowling action". The Guardian. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- "ICC bans Saeed Ajmal from bowling". Dawn. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- "England in Pakistan ODI Series 2000/01 – 2nd Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Pakistan in West Indies Test Series – 1st Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Pakistan in Sri Lanka Test Series – 2nd Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Pakistan v England Test Series – 1st Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Galle, Jun 22–26, 2012 – 1st Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "Pakistan tour of South Africa, 2012/13 – 2nd Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2013 – 1st Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Pakistan v South Africa at Dubai, 2013/14 – 2nd Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014 – 1st Test". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Pakistan v England ODI Series – 1st ODI". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- "Pakistan tour of India, 2012/13 – 3rd ODI". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- Player profile: Saeed Ajmal from ESPNcricinfo
- Saeed Ajmal's profile page on Wisden
- Player profile: Saeed Ajmal from CricketArchive
- Saeed Ajmal on Twitter