'All I could hear was 'Mike Hussey, Mike Hussey'. Didn't step outside home for 8 days': Ajmal recalls 2010 T20 WC horror
Saeed Ajmal revisited the horrific over in the 2010 T20 World Cup semi-final where he failed to defend 18 runs in the last over of the match against Michael Hussey.
Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal is widely regarded as one of the best spinners to have represented the country. Ajmal appeared for the national team from 2008-2015, and at one point, was the highest ranked bowler across all formats of the game. Ajmal's international career was marred by controversies surrounding his bowling action but the spinner is nevertheless counted among the greats of the game.
However, Ajmal went through a low point in his international career in 2010 during the T20 World Cup when, tasked with defending 18 runs off the final over in the semi-final against Australia, Ajmal conceded three sixes and a four against Michael Hussey. Over 12 years after the match, the spin great revisited the moment and revealed his struggles in moving on from the heartbreaking defeat.
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“When I returned home after that, from the plane to the airport, and all the way back home, all I could hear was 'Mike Hussey, Mike Hussey'. I didn't step outside the house for 8 days. My father came to me and said, 'you need to get to the ground'. If you stay at the home, you will be dropped from the team. Inside one year, I need a response to this,” Ajmal said on Pakistan channel GEO's Hasna Mana hai show.
“I worked hard, I developed a variation on doosra, developed pace. After that, in ODIs, T20Is, and Tests, I became the no.1 bowler. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, in all these three years, I took 326 wickets,” Ajmal further said.
The spinner ended his international career with 184 wickets to his name in 113 ODIs; in Test cricket, he picked 178 wickets in merely 35 matches. Ajmal's economy rate in T20Is was a splendid 6.36, as he registered 85 dismissals to his name in 64 games.
Since retiring from the game, Ajmal runs his own YouTube channel where he speaks in detail about Pakistan's performances throughout the cricketing calendar.