Former Pakistan cricketer Saeed Ajmal retired from international cricket in 2015 after collectively picking 447 wickets across all the three formats of the game. While speaking with Cricket Pakistan recently, the off-spinner recalled scoring his only Test fifty in 2010 in challenging English conditions. Ajmal recalled his confrontation with England cricketer James Anderson in that match and how a small talk with the pacer stirred him up to register his highest Test score till date.
During the second of the four-match Test series between Pakistan and hosts England in 2010, Saeed Ajmal scored 50 runs from 79 balls and was involved in a 115-run 8th-wicket stand with middle-order batsman Zulqarnain Haider. However, when the tail-ender walked up to bat, he was mockingly greeted by James Anderson. The English pacer asked Saeed Ajmal if he was ready to face some bouncers in the game. In response, the spinner replied that he does not understand English.
Saeed Ajmal soon faced several bouncers from James Anderson and was hit on the body '6 or 7' times. Ajmal admitted in the interview that he wanted to smash Anderson’s head with his bat, something which he also said to his batting partner Zulqarnain Haider at the time. The Pakistani spinner then decided to counterattack the pacer and brought up his fifty in doing so.
In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Saeed Ajmal recently donated rations among the needy people in his hometown. On April 5, he also visited a Thalassemia care centre in Pakistan to donate his blood for the children. While talking with a Pakistani news channel, Saeed Ajmal requested his fellow citizens to donate their blood for Thalassemia-affected patients as there is a shortage of the same due to the coronavirus lockdown in Pakistan.
James Anderson is currently the world’s leading wicket-taker among all fast bowlers in Tests. Having debuted in 2002, Anderson has picked up 584 Test wickets, 269 ODI wickets and 18 T20I wicket. Much like Saeed Ajmal, the English pacer also has a Test half-century to his name.