KARACHI - Star Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has been given clearance by his home board to play a shortened stint with Worcestershire in the English season. The 36-year-old's departure was held up after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) discussed the matter following confirmation of Pakistan's tour to Sri Lanka in July-August.
"We have given NOC (no-objection certificate) to Ajmal but want him to return in mid-July so that he can be part of team's tour to Sri Lanka," PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed told AFP late Thursday. Pakistan will play two Tests and three one-day internationals in Sri Lanka on a tour which was only finalised last week on the sidelines of an International Cricket Council meeting in Dubai.
Ajmal said he would fly early next week and will be available for Worcestershire's home match against Derbyshire on April 27. "I am quite used to playing in the English season, but duty-bound to return for national duty once the PCB wants me," he told AFP. Regarded as one of the best spinners of modern times, Ajmal has so far played 33 Tests, 110 one-day internationals and 63 Twenty20 matches. He took 24 wickets in helping Pakistan rout then-world Test number one England 3-0 in their series in the United Arab Emirates in 2012.