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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ajmal takes U-turn on county decision

Circumstances have forced Pakistan’s premier off-spinner Saeed Ajmal to change his mind as he decided to snub the Faysal Bank Super-Eight T20 tournament which starts in a couple of days time and instead play in the domestic T20 tournament in England.

‘The News’ learnt that Ajmal was facing the prospect of cancellation of his three-year contract, which he signed with Worcestershire earlier in January.

A source close to the off-spinner said that Ajmal had fears that he could have been at the losing end if he declined the opportunity to play in England.

“He was worried about his future because he could earn substantially in England and thought that he would stand nowhere if Pakistan drops him in near future,” the source told ‘The News’ on Tuesday.

Ajmal is expected to join his new teammates on Wednesday and will boost Worcestershire’s Twenty20 campaign in the Friends Life t20 tournament where they have struggled so far; winning only one match out of five played with two of their encounters being washed-out due to rain.

Ajmal’s rise to the national team was much to do with his performances in the domestic T20 tournaments but it is a shame that he would not be playing in a new eight-team format and that could turn out to be a big blow for Wolves, who are looking to win the competition.

The source added that Ajmal was issued a warning letter by the county; however this could not be independently verified.

“First he decided to stay back here and win the title for Wolves but later he was issued a notice that if he does not appear for Worcestershire his three-contract would be cancelled,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, well-placed sources have confirmed that wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman will join the Wolves teammates in the later stages of the event. The source added that Salman could not join the initial squad because of an injury.

Faisalabad will become the third city to host domestic T20 tournament outside Karachi and Lahore. The tickets for the event are being sold at Rs 50 and 25 as the organisers try to lure the public to the grounds.

In the wake of Super-Eight T20, Faisalabad Cricket Association has decided to test Iqbal Stadium’s floodlights on Wednesday (today) to ensure that the lighting is alright and Faisalabad Wolves will turn out for a practice session.
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