Fans bid heavy-hearted farewell to retiring Saeed Ajmal

Saeed Ajmal once the world's best bowler called time on his career far away from the arclights

Saeed Ajmal once the world’s best bowler called time on his career far away from the arclights

Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal, on Monday (November 13), announced that he will retire from all forms of cricket at the end of the ongoing National Twenty20 tournament. He collected 178 Test wickets from 35 matches at an average of 28.10, 184 wickets from 113 ODIs at 22.72 and another 85 wickets from 64 T20Is.

Having made his debut at 30, Ajmal's short but extremely successful career saw him reach the top of the ODI and T20 global rankings while he was also an equally potent force in the Test format.

But his time in the limelight was cut short after a temporary ban for chucking saw him return to the sport in 2015 without the same form.

Faisalabad-born off-spinner was once ranked world's number one bowler in ODIs and T20 global cricket. "It was a highly satisfying career in which I achieved whatever goals I set for myself and helped the team win matches". The second time he was reported for his action was in August 2014 and that was the killer blow for Ajmal, who was subsequently banned from bowling in global cricket. It was first reported during an ODI series against Australia in the U.A.E.in 2009. He could only take one wicket in two ODIs and a Twenty20 in Bangladesh after which he was never selected for the national team again. Ajmal, 40, was left frustrated after his action was termed as illegal in 2014 by ICC.

"I have forgiven everyone, from Michael Vaughan and Stuart Broad because they were the ones who hurt me with their comments in 2014", said Ajmal.

Referring to fellow spinner Mohammad Hafeez, Ajmal criticised the process of evicting bowlers for illegal action.

The 40-year-old will retire as one of Pakistan's top wicket-takers in global cricket.

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