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Misbah, Ajmal pleased with PSL’s blemish-free foray into Pakistan

This week saw the successful completion of the second addition of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz, the first franchise T20 tournament organised by an Associate member of the ICC. The quality of international talent on show was hugely impressive, and amongst those that played were Pakistan’s Test captain misba-main¬†and spinner Saeed Ajmal. There are question marks over the international futures of both men. Ajmal has not played for his country since April 2015, and having been forced to remodel his action after being called for throwing he has not been as effective. Asked if he would play for Pakistan again, he said he was available for selection but did not think he would be picked. “I don’t think so. I can just try, I’m 39-years-old. If they gave me a chance I am still available and I would be very happy to play for Pakistan,” Ajmal said. For Misbah, the talk of his eventual retirement from international cricket will not die down. He says he has not made a decision on his future just yet, but he will be playing in the Test series in the West Indies that takes place in April and May. Ajmal was also pleased to see a return of cricket to Pakistan expression his delight for cricket fans in the country. “It was very good for us. We need the cricket playing back in Pakistan. We’ve missed it for the last eight or nine years so we need to play. Our crowd want to see their players playing in Pakistan. We are very excited for the next PSL to be played in Pakistan and international cricket,” Ajmal said. “You see the stadium is full and we did all the security for the international players and that is good for us, and the Pakistanis have said we would like to invite all international teams to come to Pakistan to play against Pakistan.” Misbah also said he was pleased with the cricket at the PSL, although he expressed disappointment that his Islamabad United team could not retain the title they won in 2016. “It was a good tournament. The way all of the matches went, some very exciting games, close games. And I think overall the quality of cricket was good and fan following and overall interest of people in the second addition was very good. I was a bit disappointed with our overall performance as a team, we could not defend the title, but I think overall we enjoyed the second addition.” Both men were playing for the Hong Kong Island United team, the sister franchise of Islamabad United at the T20 Blitz. “It is good fun,” Misbah said when asked about taking part in the tournament that was played over five days in Kowloon, Hong Kong. “Playing with a lot of the guys from different countries and especially with the guys from Pakistan with different teams. It is good cricket overall, atmosphere is good and I am enjoying my cricket.”

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