Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was 'thrilled' to sign a deal with the Australia Big Bash League, has now shunned the event in order to prepare for the Indo-Pak series that starts next month.
Ajmal said he was focusing on training and looking forward to play a leading role for his side in the forthcoming tour where Pakistan will play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20s from December 25, reports The Express Tribune.
"The tour of India is my main target, it's a big one. I want to give it my best shot in India for which I've been training hard. Besides, I also want to strengthen my top ranking in ODIs and Twenty20s on the tour. I played a couple of President's Trophy matches and will take part in more later this month. Right now I am focusing on my individual training and practice," Ajmal was quoted, as saying.
Ajmal had planned to play in the Big Bash League for the Adelaide Strikers but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) denied permission to him as well as Shahid Afridi (Sydney Thunder) and Umar Akmal (Sydney Sixers).
The board wants the players to feature in the domestic Twenty20 tournament scheduled for early next month that will gauge the players' form and fitness ahead of assignment in India.
Although Ajmal was yet to be informed of the decision, he was ready to skip the Australian league if asked to do so by the PCB.
Ajmal added that he was sure to take part in the domestic Twenty20 tournament.
"The PCB has taken the decision for our own good and I will play in that tournament and have no issues in withdrawing from the Big Bash League. The series against India is a huge assignment and the PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf deserves praise for his hard work to make it a reality after years. I hope cricket will flourish under this chairman as he is taking right decisions to promote the game," he said.