"I am quitting all forms of cricket after the current National Twenty20 tournament", Ajmal told AFP from Rawalpindi on the phone. "It was a highly satisfying career in which I achieved whatever goals I set for myself and helped the team win matches". He famously captured 24 wickets in three Tests against England in 2012. Ajmal, who remodelled his action two years ago after being termed illegal, failed to make his place in the team.
The veteran took 178 Test wickets in 35 matches at an average of 28.10 and 184 one-day worldwide scalps in 113 games at 22.72 apiece. He played just two ODIs against Bangladesh in April and a lone T20I in 2015 which proved to be his final appearance in worldwide cricket for Pakistan.
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Saeed Ajmal was highly satisfied with the way his worldwide career panned out but has expressed that he was frustrated and hurt with the ban on his action. Pakistan have also found an able alternative in leg-spinner Yasir Shah now, but Ajmal will always be remembered as one of the greatest spinners the country has ever produced.
England fast bowler Stuart Broad raised questions about the legality of Ajmal's action when he was featuring in a county championship. Ajmal took a swipe at the process of calling bowlers out for illegal action. "But I have forgiven everyone", he said before adding, "It seems that the process was meant for me and (Mohammad) Hafeez, all other bowlers with questionable actions are still playing". Recently, Hafeez was also reported for the suspected bowling action during the series against Sri Lanka.
Ajmal, the spin wizard who played the game with steel and a smile, will be missed as crickets and fans bid an emotional farewell to the 40-year-old.