Saeed Ajmal's Suspension Tough for Entire Cricket World: Mohammad Hafeez

Mohammad Hafeez hoped good friend and star Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was suspended by the ICC for illegal bowling action, will make a comeback sooner rather than later.

Updated: September 10, 2014 21:15 IST
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Saeed Ajmal Brisbane
Ajmal's ban is a huge blow to Pakistan, with the World Cup just over five months away.

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Raipur: Having faced the heat of 'chucking' himself, all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez termed teammate and ace spinner Saeed Ajmal's suspension for illegal bowling action as a "difficult thing not only for Pakistan but for the entire cricket (world)".

"This is a tough thing not only for Pakistan but for rest of the cricket (world) as he is the number one bowler. It's too early to comment on this as PCB is looking into the issue," said Hafeez in a reply to query on Ajmal's suspension over chucking. (Pakistan Bowling Finished Without Ajmal)

Hafeez, captaining Lahore Lions, is in the city to take part in Champions League Twenty 20, starting on September 13 at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium here.

Hoping that Ajmal will stage a good comeback, off-spinner Hafeez, who was once reported by umpires for suspect action but later cleared by the ICC, said, "As a player I am a good friend of his (Ajmal) and a well-wisher. My wishes are with him. He is one of the entertainers in our team. I hope he will overcome this adverse situation and will make a better come back."

When asked about the team's preparations ahead of the tournament, he said, "In Lahore, the weather was not good for one-and-a half weeks, so we couldn't do any outdoor practice but we spent some time indoors.

"I think we have similar weather here as well.

Hafeez said playing cricket in India is always enjoyable. "We have a bunch of international players and some budding players who have played domestic matches, for the tournament.

It's going to be a great platform for them so they should deliver their best," he said.

Responding to a query on the performance of the other teams, Hafeez said, "I think all teams are good. Pressure is on every side as this is the stage when you have to qualify for the main round. Whoever will play right will go further."

Lahore Lions are scheduled to play their first qualifier against Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Hafeez said that Mumbai will certainly miss Rohit Sharma's services as a player and as a leader after the batsman was ruled out of the tournament due to a fractured middle finger.

Sharma suffered the injury in the second one-dayer against England in Cardiff and missed the remaining three ODIs and the one-off T20 after that.

"Mumbai Indians will miss Rohit's leadership. He has been a very good player for the side. Still they have a good team and we are ready to take on them," Hafeez said.

On Indo-Pak relations, Hafeez said that sports should be kept out of political interference.

"I have been to India seven to eight times and we enjoyed playing here. I think there is a lot of love between the people of both countries. No political issue should be brought into sports," he said.

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