Till date, the one thing we knew about Saeed Ajmal was that he happens to be a good off spinner especially in limited over matches where his attacking style of bowling has fetched him a lot of wickets. However, now we know that his sense of humour is not really up to the mark, at least at the level of his bowling. It is evident from the joke he has cracked on his supposed involvement in the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, possibly one of the finest batsmen ever in world cricket. While speaking to Wisden India, he has stated, albeit in a humorous tone, that the maestro was forced to call it quits in the ODI arena after he dismissed him in the Asia Cup encounter between the two teams.
In that game, which took place on March 18, 2012 at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Tendulkar was dismissed for a quick 52 from 48 balls by Ajmal. Even though India won that game with 13 deliveries and 6 wickets to spare, it was the last ODI match played by India. In that same interview he was also pretty vocal about how he has been successful against the Master especially claiming his wicket during the 2011 World Cup semi final at Mohali.
He has lauded Tendulkar, perhaps in an effort to reinforce the latter’s status as one of the premier names in global cricket and expressed his obvious joy at being able to get his wicket. However, he has also had the audacity to refer to the above mentioned game and state that the whole dismissal was conceived and executed so well that it virtually forced Tendulkar to bid adieu to the limited overs format. The off-spinner has also stated that given a choice he would like to play against all the teams at their home conditions since such performances always give him extra motivation and satisfaction. However, he has also questioned the reasons behind the lack of cricket between India and Pakistan, which he thinks is a great tradition of rivalry and mutually beneficial. In fact, he has also expressed his willingness to renew his battles with The Great One in test matches now that he no longer turns out in coloured clothing for India.
To a certain extent, such a request represents a naivety in an international cricketer who is strangely unaware of the circumstances between his country and its neighbours. Coming back to the cricket bit, Ajmal has always seemed an excitable person, especially when playing against India.
His efforts at imitating the aura of fast bowlers have been rather disturbing and even though he is among the best performers, his aggressive behaviour quite often looks out of place, to be frank. In fact, nowadays if you see a spinner getting a wicket, they are always more charged up than fast bowlers. Perhaps there is a lack of self esteem somewhere in their make-up where they do not really expect a wicket to come their way. Secondly, it is expected as an international cricketer one would be respectful when you are speaking about an international icon of Tendulkar’s status. It is good to have fire in the belly but it is better to keep it over there – otherwise the fire may hurt others but consume you!