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Ajmal sets up cricket academy in Faisalabad

11 January, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan off spinner Saeed Ajmal on Thursday launched a cricket academy in Faisalabad to find new talent and produce bowlers like himself to torment the world's best batsmen.

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The 35-year-old is regarded as the best spinner in all three formats of the game, and was instrumental in Pakistan's rout of the world's then best Test team England in the United Arab Emirates last year. He said the 'Saeed Ajmal International Cricket Academy' would be free of charge to budding cricketers. “I want to groom the enormous talent in the country and no fee will be charged in my academy because I don't want the players to suffer the ordeal I did in coming to this stage,” Ajmal told media at the launch in Faisalabad. The academy, spread over eight acres (3.2 hectares) at Faisalabad's Agriculture University, will cost around Rs.70 million to set up, with an initial Rs.30 million provided by Ajmal himself. The Pakistan Government has also donated Rs.10 million. “I am thankful to the Prime Minister for his financial help and hope that the government and affluent people of the country will help me more,” Ajmal said. “I will also go house-to-house for donations.” Ajmal has so far taken 122 Test and 117 one-day wickets, and is also the highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 cricket with 71.

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