Former Pakistan spin king Saeed Ajmal, in a recent interview, blasted accusations laid by former pacer Rana Naved on players deliberately underperforming in the 2009 ODI series against New Zealand in UAE.
Rana Naveed had claimed that then Pakistan squad deliberately underperformed in order to remove legendary batsman Younis Khan as skipper of the side. Ajmal, however, claims that no Pakistan player had underperformed during the series and rubbished the former pacer’s accusations.
“I can say with conviction that no Pakistan player indulged in any activity that led to any match being lost just so that Younis Khan could be removed as captain. I played in those games and I know that no such thing happened as we all played to win the game,” said Ajmal.
The 42-year-old said that players requested the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to advise Younis Khan to develop a better attitude and relationship with players.
“I am not sure why Rana Naved feels that there was some conspiracy against Younis Khan. He was an aggressive captain who played with that mindset and in the previous tour of South Africa, we had requested the PCB to advise him to have a better attitude with his team-mates,” he said.
“But, to say that a match was deliberately lost to remove Younis Khan as captain simply did not happen. Younis Khan is a great man who has performed really well for Pakistan. I respect him and believe we as players would never dream of undermining his captaincy by any means,” Ajmal concluded.
Ajmal represented Pakistan in 35 Tests, 113 ODIs and 64 Twenty20 International (T20Is) while picking up 178 wickets, 184 wickets and 85 wickets, respectively. The off-spinner was highly regarded for his unreadable doosra which caused problems for batsmen around the world.