THE WORLD’S best one-day bowler is set to return to New Road next summer.
Saeed Ajmal, currently ranked as the number one ODI bowler, has been announced as Worcestershire’s overseas signing for the 2014 domestic campaign pending approval from the Pakistan Cricket Board and suitable visa clearances.
The 36-year-old off-spinner previously played for the county in 2011 when he picked up 16 wickets in the Friends Life t20 including a fantastic triple wicket maiden against Northants to finish with career best figures in the format of 4-14.
In just three LV= County Championship matches Ajmal also collected 17 wickets.
Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: “Saeed fitted into the dressing room fantastically well in 2011 and his experience at the highest level can only be a massive boost to our young squad.
“To sign a world class player of Saeed’s quality shows the stature the club has in the world of cricket and demonstrates the county’s determination to challenge for honours in 2014.”
Currently representing Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, Ajmal collected 4-30 with an economy rate of just 3.00 in Pakistan’s first ODI of the series against South Africa and across his international career spanning six years he has taken 389 wickets for his country.
Ajmal said he hoped to play more matches for the county this time around.
“I’m looking forward to returning to New Road for what I hope will be an extended stay,” he added.
“My family and I thoroughly enjoyed our short time in Worcester during 2011 and I hope to be able to contribute to a successful 2014 campaign.”
Saeed Ajmal is set to return to Worcestershire next season. Picture by Ian Smith. (s)