Hampshire secure Ajmal services
Hampshire have pulled off a major coup by signing Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal for the latter part of the 2013 season.
Ajmal is the highest-ranked Test spinner and will join Hampshire on a two-month deal as a replacement for overseas signing George Bailey.
Australia Twenty20 captain Bailey is due to be with his national team’s limited-overs squad from August and in his absence Hampshire will turn to Ajmal as they attempt to earn promotion from LV= County Championship Division Two.
“I am very pleased to be joining Hampshire to play in the championship,” said Ajmal whose only previous county stint was for Worcestershire in 2011. “I have always enjoyed playing in England and look forward to playing my part in helping Hampshire get promoted.”
Ajmal, who has taken 122 wickets in 23 Tests, played a starring role as Pakistan secured a series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates against England at the start of the year.
While he is not a like-for-like replacement for Bailey, Hampshire could potentially lose young spinner Danny Briggs to England duty at the same time.
“As things stand, it is possible that both George and Danny could be involved in the ODI series between England and Australia so the availability of Saeed for August and September is a great fit,” manager Giles White.
“He is one of the best bowlers in the world in all forms of the game and will add real quality to the squad at the business end of the season.”