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Wanted to smash Anderson’s head: Ajmal recalls hilarious exchange from 2010 Test

Former cricketer spoke about how he overcame a barrage of bouncers to achieve his maiden Test half-century

Wanted to smash Anderson’s head: Ajmal recalls hilarious exchange from 2010 Test PHOTO: Reuters

Former Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal recalled how he overcame a barrage of bouncers from England pacer James Anderson, enroute to his first and only half-century of Test career.

Ajmal played a 50-run knock from 79 deliveries, during the second Test match of 2010 series between Pakistan and England at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

"When they [England] took the new ball, Anderson came up to me and said ‘Are you ready for bouncers?’ and I told him that I don’t know English. I thought he is joking since I am a tailender and he would probably bowl straight and get me out," said Ajmal during a YouTube video. "But they fired a barrage of bouncers at me. When I got hit by six or seven bouncers, I told Zulqarnain [Haider] that I want to smash Anderson’s head with my bat. Then I decided to go for my shots. I tried to step out of my crease and hit a couple of bouncers. Then the ball started coming on to my bat and I ended up with a fifty."

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The 42-year-old also shared fascinating dressing room details of the thrilling One-day International (ODI) between Pakistan and South Africa in Sharjah in 2013, which the Men in Green lost by just one run.

"I had taken four wickets and was sure that I will get the man of the match award as we needed only 17 runs to win and five wickets were left with [Shahid] Afridi and Umar Akmal at the crease," he said. "I thought of having dinner quickly so that I can go to collect my man of the match award.”

“As soon as I was about to put food into my plate, one wicket fell so I asked Wahab [Riaz] to pad up but he was confident that we will still win. Then, suddenly Afridi got out as well and Wahab started padding up. I told Wahab that I am padding up as well since I didn’t trust his batting either.  As soon as I put on my pads, Wahab also got out. In the end, I was left stranded with Mohammad Irfan, needing 15 runs to win, and we lost the match by one run."

Ajmal further revealed how a comment by the controversial batsman Umar Akmal made him lose his cool after the end of the aforementioned match.

"I got a mobile phone in the prize distribution ceremony for being the best bowler of the match. When I came inside the dressing room, Umar Akmal came up to me and said ‘Wow Saeed bhai, you got a mobile’, which made me so angry that I threw the mobile away and smashed it into pieces. I wanted to win the match and not the mobile," he said.