Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes is relishing working again with “a special talent” after spin wizard Saeed Ajmal finally got the green light to link up with Worcestershire for three months of the 2014 season.
The Pakistan star will make the first appearance of his second spell with the Club in the home LV= County Championship clash with Derbyshire starting at New Road on Sunday (27th April).
Ajmal has obtained his visa plus his No Objection Certificate from the Pakistan Cricket Board and arrives in the UK this evening (Friday) and will be available for potentially 9 LV= County Championship and 12 NatWest t20 Blast matches.
Ajmal will have to end his stint with the county in mid-July as Pakistan have arranged to tour Sri Lanka in late July and early August.
Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: “Saeed is a very special talent, a lovely guy and will be great for our dressing room and it's great that he is returning here for the next three months or so.
“This guy is one of the best bowlers in the world – so for us to pull off a coup in signing him is tremendous. Other sides would have desperately loved to have had him. Make no mistake there will be a lot of jealous counties out there.
“He is top of the tree and he is a very good asset to the Club. For his age, his excitement, energy and enjoyment for the game of cricket is quite amazing.”
Ajmal had a successful first spell at New Road in 2011, taking 16 wickets in eight Twenty20 appearances including a treble wicket maiden against Northamptonshire.
He also picked up 17 wickets in three County Championship appearances and played a big part in a win over Sussex at Hove which helped the county to stay in Division One.
Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell said: “Saeed really is a genius and I don't use that term lightly. He is something special. He has got things that other people in the game simply haven't got.
“It is a huge boost to have him back here. He acts as an inspiration to the other lads in the dressing room. He is a great guy and one of those guys who loves bowling.
“He practices as hard as anyone as well. He is the first one over in the nets in the morning when he gets here and does extra training with his bowling.
"He is a real inspiration and a great role model for everyone else in the squad and after a positive start in our first 2 LV= County Championship matches will give the team a further lift for the summer ahead.”