The Telegraph
Thursday , January 10 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Saeed Ajmal throws down the gauntlet

Karachi: Buoyed by their recent success in India, off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has challenged their arch-rivals to beat Pakistan in their own backyard.

Ajmal said the Indian team would find it difficult to beat Pakistan on their home turf.

“We looked at it (the series in India) as a challenge. We felt if we beat them in their own backyard, then it will pose a challenge before them to come and try to win in Pakistan. I hope this happens soon,” Ajmal said.

The 35-year old spinner took 5 for 24 in the final ODI in New Delhi on Sunday but still failed to get the Man of the Match award which went to India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his fighting 36 and leadership qualities.

Even though the incident raised quite a few eyebrows in Pakistan, Ajmal said he was not disappointed at not getting the Man of the Match award.

“I am used to these things. Remember I even didn’t get the ICC award. For me the biggest reward was to see our team do well in India,” he said.

Ajmal, who played a full series in India for the first time in his career, said that Pakistan won the series because of team unity and hardwork.

“That was our simple formula for success,” he insisted.

Ajmal said the impressive performance in India had boosted his confidence a lot.

“I am happy that we played good cricket in every match of the tour. We were positive all the time. We desperately wanted to complete a clean sweep in the ODI series unfortunately this didn’t happen,” he told a newspaper.