Hampshire have agreed for Saeed Ajmal to sign for them in the latter stages of the 2013 season. For the majority of the season, Australian T20 captain George Bailey will be Hamshire’s overseas batsmen, and for most of August and September, Ajmal will fill in for Bailey whilst he is fulfilling International commitments.
Saeed Ajmal is certainly one of best spinners if not the best spinner in the world and is currently ranked third in the ICC rankings for bowling. He is surely a world class performer, and is about to play division two county cricket. It is a great grab.
For Pakistan he has been an utter revelation, with 122 wickets in 23 Tests at an average of 27.09, including 6 five wicket halls. Ajmal flawed England with 24 wickets in three Tests in the UAE earlier in the year.
English batsmen are infamous for their ineptitude against regular spin, let alone mystery spin, so should Ajmal find a liking to division two county cricket, he could be the difference between winning or losing games, and essentially promotion or staying in the lower tier.
This is Ajmal’s second short stint in county cricket after first division experience at Worcestershire in 2011, where he bagged 17 wickets in three first-class matches. Hampshire is a fertile ground for spin. High quality spinners have graced the club in the past, most notably Shane Warne who captained Hampshire for some time, but also Imran Tahir, Shaun Udal and more recently Danny Briggs have all gained International attention from spin success at Hampshire.
This is certainly a very good signing for Hampshire, and should he do well, it would certainly bolster Hampshire’s late season charge for promotion.