Worcestershire secure Ajmal deal

Source:  ESPN Cric Info Published in Sports on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Worcestershire have secured a deal to bring Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal back to New Road in 2015 for at least the second half of the season from July.

Ajmal, 37, has successfully remodelled his action after being cited for throwing, sending down 12,000 deliveries, and was cleared to bowl again by the ICC last month.

Worcestershire could have Ajmal available for the first two months of the season if Pakistan's tour to Bangladesh, pencilled in for April and May, does not go ahead - the two boards are currently in negotiations - but he will definitely arrive after Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka concludes at the start of July.

Ajmal is crucial to Worcestershire's chances of survival in Division One of the County Championship. Last year he took 63 wickets at 16.47 in just nine matches - five of which Worcestershire won - to propel his adopted county to a most-unexpected promotion. Worcestershire did not lose in the Championship when Ajmal was in the side last season.

"I've had this difficult spell of my career with my action but I knew I would come through it and have had the support not only of Pakistan but also Worcestershire throughout," Ajmal said.

"Worcestershire have all the time stood by me and I can assure them I will repay the faith they have shown in me this season. I would love to be with Worcestershire as long as possible so I can help the club achieve their high goals and also help establish them in Division One."

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes added: "I'm delighted Saeed is coming back. He's very important in what is hopefully going to be a successful season for us and is an important member of the dressing room.

"He brings a lot of confidence to the team as well which is really important for this young group of players. He has made a tremendous impact. He is a real quality performer as all our members and supporters know."

Worcestershire are back in Division One of the County Championship after only a one year absence. They begin their new campaign at home to champions Yorkshire on April 12.

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