Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Rhodes “very Optimistic” Deal Can Be Completed To Secure Ajmal Return

Rhodes “very Optimistic” Deal Can Be Completed To Secure Ajmal Return

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes is "very optimistic now that we can put to bed a deal" to seal the return of spinner Saeed Ajmal to New Road next season.

Rhodes said that the county "are still in negotiations" with the Pakistan spin star and his representatives about a third spell with the county in 2015.

The length of the spell will depend on whether Pakistan's series with Bangladesh in April-May goes ahead.

But at the very least Rhodes is hopeful Ajmal will be available for the entire second half of the season as he will not be participating in the Caribbean Premier League in August.

Ajmal's remodelled action has been deemed legal after he passed an ICC biomechanics test in Chennai.

Rhodes said: "We are still in negotiations. First of all, we think it is fantastic news for Saeed and us that he has passed his test.

"For him to get back to the levels required in terms of the angles-degrees required, is testament to his efforts so we are delighted. We are really pleased we stuck by him.

"Where we are at the moment is we are very optimistic now that we can put to bed a deal. I think he is pleased we stood by him and we are pleased now that he has passed his test that we stood by him."

Rhodes added: "There are certain things that are a worry like. For example, the Bangladesh series suddenly cropped up a few weeks ago in the Future Tours Programme which wasn't on the Future Tours Programme.

"If that goes ahead, that is six weeks at the start of the season which really takes Saeed into a series with Sri Lanka which is now in the Future Tours Programme.

"If Bangladesh goes ahead, then he may not play until half-way through the season and then will see the season out with us hopefully as he is not going to the Caribbean Premier League now.

"There is a chance this Bangladesh series might not go ahead and I'm only saying that because both boards are discussing over whose series it is and money.

"We've just got to wait and see on that one. If it means Saeed is not with us for the first half of the year, then we will look elsewhere.

"We've got irons in the fire but, like Saeed at the moment, nothing concrete."

Ajmal has taken 80 wickets in 12 previous LV = County Championship appearances for Worcestershire – 17 in three games in 2011 and 63 in nine matches last season.