Pakistan Saeed Ajmal announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Monday, two years after losing his wicket-taking bite with a remodelled bowling action that was twice deemed illegal. He announced that he will retire from all forms of cricket at the end of the ongoing National Twenty20 tournament.“I am quitting all forms of cricket after the current National Twenty20 tournament,” Ajmal told AFP. “It was a highly satisfying career in which I achieved whatever goals I set for myself and helped the team win matches.”During a successful but controversial career, Pakistan Saeed Ajmal was once celebrated as the world’s number one bowler in one-day internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 cricket, and was almost as successful in Tests. He famously captured 24 wickets in three Tests against England in 2012. 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.Ban over action left me frustrated and hurt,” he said. “More hurtful was that current player Stuart Broad questioned that and his comments hurt me no end. But I have forgiven everyone.” England fast bowler Broad questioned the legality of Ajmal’s action when the Pakistani spinner was featuring in an English county championship a month before the umpires’ report in Sri Lanka.His record in limited-overs was all the more impressive. In 113 games, he took 184 wickets at an average of 22.72 and an economy rate of 4.18. He has played 64 T20Is, in which he has taken 85 (joint second-highest for Pakistan) at an economy of 6.36. For five years – from 2009 to 2014 – he remained a regular in all three formats of Pakistan’s set-up.He will be remembered as a cricketer who played the great game with a smile on his face and endeared himself to fans all over the world. Forthright, team man, fun-loving, and a great ambassador of Pakistan cricket, the magician will be missed.
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