`Disheartened` Ajmal reveals how Mushtaq instilled bowling confidence

Karachi, Feb.18 (ANI): Pakistan’s out-of-favour spinner Saeed Ajmal, who underwent arduous rehabilitation process to work on his remodelled bowling action, has revealed he was so dejected at a point that he was considering retirement until spin bowling legend Saqlain Mushtaq instilled back the confidence in him.

“Working along with Saqlain bhai, I changed my action eight times. Initially he would like the action for a while, say for a month, but then he would change it. It reached a stage where one day, I just said I would leave it [bowling]. But Saqlain bhai said, “Himmat na haar.” [Don’t lose hope.] One day it will come,” Ajmal was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

The 38-year-old was ranked as the number one bowler in ODIs and was also as impressive in Test cricket before being suspended for exceeding the 15-degree elbow flex limit set by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The spin maestro then underwent remedial work with Mushtaq and was cleared to bowl again in February last year. However, he couldn’t replicate his old form with his remodelled action when he last turned up in Pakistan colours in a Twenty20 match against Bangladesh in April 2015.

He stated that he didn’t give up despite facing adverse situation and was relentless in training to get back his confidence.

“I kept doing it. Then I started bowling well and gained confidence. I am not saying I have become zabardast [great] once again. But with the matches I am getting to play, the crowds are coming, I am enjoying bowling under pressure, and one day I will be available to play for Pakistan,” Ajmal added.

Despite being omitted from the upcoming Asia Cup T20 and World T20 squads, Ajmal believes that his performance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) may win back the selectors’ confidence. (ANI)

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