Forget burnout, Ajmal set to fire in Asia Cup
13 February, 2014
KARACHI: Unperturbed with the ongoing fuss within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), national players are focusing on the upcoming Asia Cup where they will meet continental counterparts from February 25 in Bangladesh to defend their title.
Among them is spearhead spinner Saeed Ajmal who is itching to excel in the five-nation tournament also featuring arch-rivals India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan besides the hosts.
Barring the ongoing domestic Faysal Bank Twenty20 Cup, most of the national players got the much-needed break after the home series against Sri Lanka in the UAE – following a marathon season that also included a hectic home and away series against South Africa.
But Ajmal does not include in the list of players who got rest as he flew to South Africa soon after the series to play the Ram Slam T20 Challenge where he played for the Titans.
It was learned that the top management feared for Ajmal's fitness due to his continuous run ahead of the Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20. Few weeks before, the spinner's predecessor – Saqlain Mushtaq felt that he should take a break to extend his career.
"He is a quality spinner and has proven himself in every format but he looked tired against Sri Lanka," Mushtaq was quoted as saying.
‘I am in good touch'
However, the 36-year old who returned from South Africa after taking 15 wickets from just six matches dismissed fears of burn-out.
"I am hundred percent fit and in good rhythm," Ajmal told Our Sources.
Ajmal joined Faisalabad Wolves in the ongoing domestic T20 and immediately helped his team to a win against tournament's favourites Lahore Eagles, picking the match of the match for his three-wicket haul.
"I think this performance is answer to all fears of burn-out."
The spinner relatively was ineffective in the drawn Test series against Sri Lanka, managing just ten wickets in three matches.
"It happens to every cricketer. Everyone has good and ordinary series but the good thing is that I have regained my form."
Ajmal eyes good show in Asia Cup
The spinner said he was eagerly looking forward to performing at the upcoming Asia Cup.
"It would be an interesting tournament because of the presence of tough opponents.
"Especially, I am eyeing a good performance against India which has a very good batting line-up.
"My main task in the event is to consolidate my ODI ranking."
Moin to meet selectors for Asia Cup
Meanwhile, newly –appointed head coach Moin Khan is scheduled to meet the PCB's selection committee on the sidelines of T20 event in Rawalpindi.
"The Asia Cup squad would be considered in the meeting between the selectors and head coach," said an official close to the selection committee.
He added that Moin who was associated as team's manager in the last ODI series that Pakistan won against Sri Lanka is unlikely to push for wholesale changes.
"The selection of wicket-keeper would be interesting as Moin may push for a specialist wicket-keeper instead of middle-order batsman Umar Akmal."